TW: racism, race wars, violence. I ask my black friends not to read this. All you need to know is: You are stronger than you know. You may not see it. But I see it. Your kids see it. You are their inspiration. And mine.
My city is burning. I haven’t slept much the last three nights. Everyone is in pain.
I cried for the first time this morning. I’m going to share the exchange that did it for me. My friends know that I’m a tough person. Life has taught me to be resilient in the face of adversity after adversity. I’m not the sort of person who cries because they can’t go any further. I cried because I needed to acknowledge in my body that this was not okay. So I did. And now back to work.
Below is the exchange, which started when a friend posted my piece last night on support for looting. I’m sharing the response because it’s important for people to know that these are views held by members of your communities. And if you’re not proactive in fixing these problems, they will remain…
In a very odd later exchange, he apologized. It’s hard for me to judge the sincerity of the apology. The cynical side of me thinks that maybe he’s just worried about the possible repercussions for saying such things. But I hope he really has had a change of heart and will work against racial injustice in the future.
I won’t post his name here. If he wants to identify himself, he is welcome to. I just want people to know that this view is in your communities. Do something about it. If you’re reading this, it is your responsibility to do something about it. Work for a world of charity and solidarity. Don’t know what to do? Start here.
Some notes on weird claims made during the exchange…
“M” claimed that if “everyone knew and was contented with their place in a pyramidal feudal hierarchy, there would be no resentment.” This claim has at least two problems, one logical and one historical. The logical problem is the circular argument hidden within the argument. It argues, in part, “if everyone was contented… there would be no resentment.” This is just obviously true. But it adds nothing to the discussion.
The historical problem with the argument that there would be no resentment if we had a pyramidal feudal society is that it’s historically false. Democracy arose in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries because of resentment.
Update: Another exchange this morning:
Some resources, if you’re interested:
Other related writings:
- A Conservative Consideration of #BlackLivesMatter
- Why objections to defunding the police are racist
- Your Kids will Aid Bullies
- Catholic Misrepresentation of Pope Francis Today Shows the Subtle Silencing of Black Voices
- If you blame protestors, you likely would have blamed George Floyd
- Why I Left the Law Firm Life: A Letter to My Former Boss
- Last Night Was Different: More on the Fires in my Cities
- My Racist Exchange Today
- Do I Support Looting
- Reflections on a Second Night of Fires
- Trauma and Setting Fires
- More of my writings on race here
Chris Damian is a writer, speaker, attorney, and business professional living in the Twin Cities. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. and M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas. He is the author of “I Desired You: Intellectual Journals on Faith and (Homo)sexuality” (volumes I and II). He is also the co-founder of YArespond, a group of Catholic young adults seeking informed and holistic responses to the clergy abuse crisis. In his free time, he enjoys hosting dinner parties and creative writing workshops.