Shining a Light on Institutional Racism: My firsthand account

Photo by Sean Patrick Murphy on Unsplash

When most people think of racism, visions of terrorism delivered mano a mano come to mind. You know … slavery, white hoods, lynchings, and other acts of abject terrorism and the trauma they leave in their wake come to mind. Interpersonal racism’s more comely, yet equally damaging sibling:institutional racism is not only alive and well, but thriving in the most unlikely of places. The time has come to shine a light on a textbook example to provide a better understanding.



The Cathedral Church of Saint Luke

A couple of weeks after Easter Sunday, a very dear friend of mine, Mrs. Adams, received a call that her brother-in-law, an Orlando resident, died. This would be bad news for most people, but for my friend this news was fraught with additional angst.

  1. She is ninety-five years old and lives just outside Westchester, New York.
  2. Although Mrs. Adams spent decades in central Florida, Orlando is not a place full of happy memories for her. Having witnessed Ku Klux Klan marches and experienced more social and civil injustices than you or I could imagine, you can understand why upon leaving the Sunshine State ten years ago, Mrs. Adams (a Black woman) had no intention of ever returning to Florida.

“White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism”

Image by Kristina Flour, Unsplash.com

For the longest time I’ve wanted to broach the subject of racism on my blog, but I wasn’t sure where or how to start the conversation. Earlier this week, Cheryl Strayed, the #1 New York Times best selling author of the memoir Wild (which became a hugely popular film starring Reese Witherspoon) posted this article by Dr. Robin DiAngela (which I have reposted below in its entirety) on her Facebook page. The following article is by no means a blanket indictment, but an important and insightful starting point for dialog.