Take It to the Bridge with Latasha Morrison (Part 1)
Founder Latasha Morrison is finally back on the podcast in the first episode of the “Take It to the Bridge” series, but this time she’s on the other side of the mic!
Tandria Potts returns as guest host and talks with Latasha about grief, the impact of COVID on Black and brown communities, the difference between allies and accomplices, and how the church’s polarization is getting in the way of racial healing. This insightful conversation is Part 1 of 2 featuring Latasha, so don’t miss the second installment next time.
“A call-out is accountability, and I call you out because I love you. I think we have to lead with lovingkindness in the call-out, but praying towards conviction—because I don’t want you just to be called out and you make a change, or you do a post, and then everything goes back to normal.” – Latasha Morrison
“This is a spiritual battle that we’re in, and I think we have to see it that way. And I hope that others begin to see it. We have to pray against this spiritual darkness. That’s the way—so I’m not vilifying people, so that I can have compassion to continue to do the work that I’m doing. I have to see it that way. My brothers and sisters are in darkness.” – Latasha Morrison
“The church has ingested the same thing that the world has ingested. It’s not a separate system. This is part of the same unhealthy empire system.” – Latasha Morrison
“There’s a big difference between an ally and an accomplice. An ally is in it when the going gets tough, but an accomplice says, “I’m going to take the front line, I’m going to be beside you. I’m going to be behind you, I’m going to support you.” I think that’s what’s needed in these times, where if I need to take a break, if I need a timeout, then there’s someone that’s rising to the challenge but not for notoriety.” – Latasha Morrison
“These situations keep bringing up opportunities for us to have a deeper conversation, and I don’t think that’s happening. Because we have a very short term memory when it comes to these incidents. We were just here last year with Ahmaud Arbery. And with George Floyd. And at the same time that the Chauvin trial is happening, you know, his trial is happening like 10 miles from where this incident with Daunte Wright happened.” – Latasha Morrison
Host & Executive Producer – Latasha Morrison
Senior Producer – Lauren C. Brown
Producer, Editor & Music By – Travon Potts
Transcriber – Brittany Prescott
Podcast link: https://podlink.to/BeTheBridge Social handles/links: Instagram: @LatashaMorrison Twitter: @LatashaMorrison
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LatashaMMorrison/ Official Hashtag: #bethebridge
The full episode transcript is below.
Tandria Potts 0:00
Are you gonna do it?
Latasha Morrison 0:01
I don’t think they’re ready…. I’m back!!!!!
You are listening to the Be the Bridge podcast with Latasha Morrison.
Latasha Morrison 0:15
[Intro] How you guys doing today? This is exciting!
Each week, Be the Bridge podcast tackles subjects related to race and culture, with the goal of bringing understanding.
Latasha Morrison 0:25
[Intro] …but I’m gonna do it in the spirit of love.
We believe understanding can move us toward racial healing, racial equity, and racial unity. Latasha Morrison is the founder of Be the Bridge, which is an organization responding to racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. This podcast is an extension of our vision to make sure people are no longer conditioned by a racialized society, but grounded in truth. If you have not hit the subscribe button, please do so now. Without further ado, let’s begin today’s podcast. Oh, and stick around for some important information at the end!
Tandria Potts 1:03
Hello, I’m Tandria Potts and I will be your guide through the awesome conversation I had with none other than Be the Bridge’s founder and leader, Latasha Morrison. Latasha is back! If you follow the Be the Bridge podcast week to week, then you are aware that Latasha has been away because of her father’s passing due to COVID. Well, rather than Latasha jumping back into the hosting chair, we thought you all should hear from her on a more personal level on a variety of topics, and based on things that have happened since you’ve last heard from her. This was such a good conversation that we had to break it up into two parts! Today’s episode is also part of a series that we will sprinkle throughout this podcast season that we call “Take it to the Bridge.” So be on the lookout for more shows like this, and the next one, in the coming weeks. There are a number of topics we’re going to get to but I think it’s appropriate for Latasha to let you all know how she’s doing after going through such a tough period in her life.
Latasha Morrison 2:03
Man, it’s been, I tell you—interesting year, that’s the only word I can think of right now. Interesting. And it’s been, you know, tough, but in the midst of tough, like, there’s these glimmers of good. You know? It’s like, it’s that whole thing of like, you know, how we can have our, you know, joy in the midst of sadness or sorrow. And so it’s like that, but it’s been some good. A good time.
Tandria Potts 2:42
Isn’t it interesting how you have to juggle the two? And you have to, you have to acknowledge what’s good, you know, give some honor to the joy that is there. But then at the same time, go right back to the fight, right back to the tragedy. Interesting. How’s that been going for you?
Latasha Morrison 2:58
Because life doesn’t stop.
Tandria Potts 2:59
Latasha Morrison 3:00
You know, so I think, I think for me, you know, trying to find that, that balance of—I’m just grateful that I’m able to see goodness in the midst of sorrow, you know? Because for some people that’s not…so I feel like that’s a gift to be able to see the good mixed with the sorrow or the good mixed with the despair in that sense, you know, because that, I mean, to me that’s a gift because everybody doesn’t have that. So for me, I think having to balance that where things are not all bad, but things are not all good either. And to be honest, and not try to fake it through and say you’re okay, when you’re not okay, you know? Loss is a real thing. It’s something that we all journey through. But when it’s unplanned loss that hits you, like at a—I think just in a deeper way, you know, it just hits you in a way where it kind of takes your breath, you know? And it’s like, it’s one thing to like, hold your breath. But when something takes your breath, you know, trying to breathe through, you know, when you can’t catch your breath. And so that’s kind of like if I can give an analogy of what this period has felt like, it just feels like your, your breath have been taken. It’s like it’s almost this disbelief. And I feel like I’m still there. It’s not like it’s, you know, like, that’s over. But you do feel like this disbelief like, you know, I will—it’s not a week that has gone by that I’m like, dang, my dad is not here. But then also, knowing that you’re not in this alone, you know? There’s so many of my friends that have lost a parent or people who have lost loved ones, like, through my father, you know, passing of COVID, there’s 500 people—500,000 people that (I wish it was just no people, but you know, but 500 sounds better than 500,000) that I’m connected with, you know, just here in this country. But that grief connects us internationally to across the globe, to millions of people who are dealing with the same thing. And for some it’s both parents or some, it’s a child or entire family, you know, it’s grieving several family members, you know. So I have to look at those, the flip side of things, too, where I always look at, okay, this is my, this is what I’m dealing with. But I also am mindful of what other people are dealing with. That’s how I process, because I always process that it could be worse.
Tandria Potts 6:09
[Voiceover] With the success of vaccinations, many are so ready to move forward that they don’t want to address inequities that occurred throughout this past year. The sad part is that even during a pandemic, our American caste system reared its ugly head to the detriment of the disenfranchised and marginalized groups in our country. That’s why I asked this question.
Can you share a little bit about the fact that people of color, Black people, have life to contend with and all the challenges of life? We, like everyone else, have had to wipe down our groceries, make sure we don’t, you know, we take care of everything you take care of so that COVID—this pandemic—doesn’t affect us, you know, in some devastating way. But at the same time, we, unlike, you know, the majority culture here in this country, have to contend with violence, systematic violence, and it doubles down when it comes to the pressure and the stress on us as a people. As a leader in this time, how have you felt and processed the fact that these two major things are going on in your life?
Latasha Morrison 7:22
Yeah, the pile-on is real. And I think, you know, it takes great depth, and also great strength, you know. I, that’s why I always say we are walking miracles, you know? I actually say, “we’re freaking miracles,” because just what we’ve had to endure historically, and that any type of, you know, pandemic, is already a pile-on on the racial pandemic that we’ve been dealing with for decades, for centuries. And so when you have a marginalized group that are impacted by so many things, you know, from healthcare to, you know, education. On top of that, we’re dealing with the pandemic. And all that comes with that when you’re a marginalized group, when you are a group that has seen this historical oppression. And then when those things have not been dealt with over centuries, when something like a pandemic happens, it’s going to hit the most vulnerable. You know, it’s gonna hit, you know, these systemic issues like those things don’t go away, you know? When we’re dealing with what we’re dealing with in healthcare as it relates to racial biases, those don’t go away during a pandemic, you know? When you’re dealing with environmental things, those things don’t go away during a pandemic. So it’s the pile-on that we’re seeing.
And then, you know, it seems like when we, you know, got word when they did a study, as far as, you know, in 2020 in April, who was dying—like, how many people, who was being impacted by this, and it was brown and Black people that were being impacted the most when you think about deaths, and you relate that to the lack of healthcare resources. Because we do live generationally. And then you look at areas in which we live, essential workers, all of those things. And so and then, you know, a few—it’s like a week after that, it seems like after those statistics came out, it was like all these “open up” protests came. And in the midst of, you know, our community grieving, you know, no empathy, you know, still just this display of apathy and, and you know, and you’re dealing you know, at that time we were dealing with a lot of lies.
Tandria Potts 10:13
[Voiceover] Lies. Let’s deal with one lie—that being that all Christians think alike. Newsflash! Univocal thinking in the church is a farce that brought me to this question. Let’s pick up the conversation here.
So polarization has caused division in churches, especially in multicultural churches. Case in point: Some view Daunte Wright’s murder as an accident, others see it as a public lynching. Some view officer Joe Gutierrez’s conduct as understandable in how he dealt with Lieutenant Caron Nazario, while others are beyond disgusted and appalled. But both sides claim Christ as their Savior, and often these two groups go to the same church. So I don’t want to really deal with the nuances of the two cases. But the tensions are not only palpable, but polarizing. Are these differences solvable?
Latasha Morrison 11:01
They’re only solvable if those that have power, those that are in majority, are going to listen to and have enough humility to elevate the voices of the groups that are being harmed. You know, unless you’re willing to listen—because there are a lot of, I would say, people in the church that are, they have a lack of hearing. And either they’re listening to be combative, or listening to give their opinion or their thought, where there’s so much information that’s missing as it relates to policing here in America. We’re having the same conversations. None of these conversations are new. These are the same conversations that people were having 60 years ago. These are the same conversations that were happening, you know, when it comes to, you know, Tulsa, Oklahoma, you know—where an aerial assault from the police was used on American citizens, you know? And so this is not a new conversation.
But the thing, what I see now is, is that there wasn’t social media, there wasn’t videotape. And now there’s an opportunity here. And some people even in the midst of this opportunity, they’re gonna still not believe what they see. Because what we see is driven by our belief systems. And if our belief systems are, you know, connected to, you know, these racial biases and stereotypes, this belief that one group is superior, and that one group is better, and that these things are all related to behavioral and not systemic. We’re gonna still be here 100 years from now. And, you know, this next generation will have to pick up, you know? And I think, right now there’s the opportunity, there’s been several opportunities, there was the opportunity, you know, during Reconstruction, and we chose otherwise. You know, with the Hayes compromise [of 1877], and so many other things, you know. There was an opportunity, you know, after desegregation. There’s been opportunities, but we’ve always missed those opportunities as a country. And I think there are opportunities now! And there was an opportunity in 2020 to really shift some things and it was a shaking up, there was a shaking up. But then you see, even in the midst of a pandemic when we’re all at our most vulnerable, everything is beyond our control—we still put our heels in the ground, and will still refuse to listen, and really come up with another excuse or another argument to push back. And the church has not been on the sidelines saying, “we need to listen, and we need to lift up the dignity and everyone” or we don’t need to…historically the church has never been there, you know, on the right side of history.
You know, and I’m not talking about there’s outliers. Yes, there are outliers, and there are certain denominations. But the church as a whole, the majority of the church, I mean, denominations split over this! There are denominations that are splitting now—you know, over anti-racism education. You know? So it’s really sad. It grieves me. And what grieves me more is even when people that look like us are used to resist, you know? Looking for a brown face that agrees with you. I think that, and that has historically been, you know, this whole “divide and conquer” and that’s sad. That hurts.
Tandria Potts 15:31
It’s a strategy.
Latasha Morrison 15:31
Yeah, it’s a strategy. And I hate to see how our community falls for that. But if you understand how the system of supremacy, white supremacy works, you’ll understand why those things are done. And sometimes I think it’s very unconscious. But when you see a pattern, you have to note this is a part of the system. Yeah.
Tandria Potts 15:58
[Voiceover] This is so good. Aren’t you loving this conversation? We’re gonna take a quick break. Stay with us. We’ll be right back.
[Ad for BTB] If you are listening to today’s podcast and would like to become a bridge builder in your community, guess what? Be the Bridge programs are available for youth, college students, adults, BIPOC, and transracial adoptees and adoptive parents. Our desire is for people to have healthy conversations about race, so we’ve provided guides to lead people through these discussions. Visit our shop at BeTheBridge.com to grab a guide and start conversations in your community!
Tandria Potts 16:44
Thanks for staying with us! Let’s get back to our conversation!
Audio Clip 16:44
[Audio from a video clip plays] A man with a southern accent says: “The media said Joe Biden is president. Ha ha ha ha ha.” [Crowd laughs]
Audio Clip 16:53
[Clip of Trump’s spiritual advisor Paula White praying] “We break and divide every demonic confederacy against the election, against America, against that who You have declared to be in the White House. We break it up in the name of Jesus, we loose confusion into every demonic confederacy directed right now at this election, directed specifically at the six states. We come against people that are working in high levels right now, with demonic confederacies.”
Audio Clip 17:20
[Audio clip of woman praying on a radio show] “And I am asking you Father that the true identity of Michelle—Michael—would be exposed. Father, I am asking you that that whole family, that those children—they are not their children, they’re the children of Obama’s best friend—Father, we ask you that that whole lie would be exposed for the everyday person to see it, in Jesus’ name.”
Tandria Potts 17:49
[Voiceover] Yep, you heard that right! White evangelical leaders not only laughing at the presidential election results, but praying against them. Oh, yes. And worse, a white evangelical leader first believing the ridiculous conspiracy that Michelle Obama is somehow a man and that her children were birthed by Barack Obama’s best friend, but prays that it be exposed. Okay…and then commits the heresy of invoking the Lord’s name as a covering for this lie! Just, wow. Okay, the sad thing is that some of you heard similar things from pastors and leaders you love and respect. Yep, we’re about to go there.
Do you, how do you feel about what’s been done to call out Christian leaders, white Christian leaders, who clearly understand you know, God’s creation, you know, human beings that he loves—Christ died for everyone, and their lack of effectiveness or love and compassion and leading their congregations. Has there been enough to call them out on the basics of just Christlike behavior and the tenets of Christian faith applying to everyone? Like so, it’s not a matter of you being able to you know, create this, basically in theory that you’re doing that, you know, “the law,” you know, you’re about upholding the law and you have faith in Christ and all of this, but you’re not actually doing what it takes to show that you are in lockstep with God and justice and all of those things. Has there been enough to call out leadership that profess to know enough about God and you know, are well studied and well versed, to hold them accountable?
Latasha Morrison 19:34
I don’t know if call out is the answer. Because what we need here—because some people, when you call out, they do things for show and there’s no heart attached to it. And that’s what we saw this summer where a lot of people maybe they gave money or maybe they changed their Instagram to black or maybe they interviewed some Black people or maybe they hired someone, a brown person, but has there been any heart change? And you know, sometimes a call out, will have someone do some introspection. But that introspection comes from conviction. And I think what we, what I want to see, is more people convicted to change, because that’s going to be the thing that’s sustainable for people. So I think bringing things to people’s attention is a part of it. But the thing that’s going to be, that’s going to give us longevity and lasting—because when the heat comes, those that are just responding to the call out, they’re going to run. They’re not going to stay in this, they’re not going to stay in these conversations, they’re not going to stay in discomfort. But when you’re convicted, you will lose your job over it. You know, when you’re convicted, and you’re being convicted by the Holy Spirit, I think that is the thing that sustains us. That is the thing that changes us, you know, and I’ve seen that. I can tell when some people are, it’s about show, and when it’s about a true conviction of the message of Jesus. And I think those are the things that cause us to be able to endure the heat when your congregation turns on you, or when you lose funding. And you’re like, you know, I’m gonna keep it going. When, you know, the tearing down of those idols that you’ve built up. And there’s fruit to that, you know, fruit to that and there’s freedom in that.
So I think it’s a “both/and” conversation, I think. You know, I think how we call out—and this is just me, as a person who…my personality, and the conviction that I have in this work of bridge building, you know, and how I call out—I think people have to be accountable. A call out is accountability, and I call you out because I love you. But I think we have to lead with that lovingkindness in the call out, you know? But praying towards conviction. Because I don’t want you just to be called out and you make a change, or you do a post, and then everything goes back to normal. There’s people that are doing this work, let me tell you, there are people that are doing this work that are leading in this work, that if you look at the infrastructure of their organizations, and churches, there’s been no shift, you know? There’s not diversity in the power structures within their own organizations, but they’re talking about it. So there’s this major disconnect in this show, of saying a lot of good things, but still not applying it to every area in your life. And I think if you are doing this work, then you’re applying racial equity, racial healing, racial justice to every area in your life. Whether it’s a business, whether it’s the organization, or just how you lead your family, you know? And so it’s one way to say “I’m doing this, I’m gonna make these changes in my business.” But then if you’re not doing it in your family, if you’re not teaching it to your kids, you know, that’s not a conviction! And I think when we have a conviction, it’s not about show. I think it’s about, you know, really aligning my heart with that of the Father’s, you know. So that’s, that’s why I think it’s just a “both/and” conversation. I think there needs to be accountability. But also, there has to be—for those we have held accountable—it has to be led with conviction.
Tandria Potts 24:01
Hmm. Makes perfect sense. Makes perfect sense. And they can withstand whatever it is, cuz you can’t, if you haven’t made up your mind…
Latasha Morrison 24:08
Because people will tap out.
Tandria Potts 24:09
Latasha Morrison 24:09
People will tap out, you know, we all get exhausted in this work. But sometimes, when I see people tapping out, it’s like when things happen, this is when we need, you know, our accomplices. Not allies, but we need accomplices to bear the burden, to hold up our hands, because we may need to take a breath because it’s hitting us a different way. And it’s not to say you don’t get exhausted in this work. But this is where I think there’s a big difference between the ally and an accomplice. And I think, you know, they’re more than in it when the going gets tough, but you know what, I’m going to take the front line, you know, I’m going to be beside you. I’m going to be behind you, you know? I’m going to support you. I think that’s what’s needed in these times, you know, where if I need to take a break, you know, if I need a timeout, then there’s someone that’s rising to the challenge. But not about getting notoriety, right? Not about, you know, getting, you know, a position or being heard or being seen. But there’s a conviction to say, you know, how do I hold space, you know, but not take away from this space? And I think we’ve seen examples of that. People are learning how to do that.
Tandria Potts 25:41
To be most effective.
Latasha Morrison 25:41
Yeah, yeah. And what’s most effective? So I think sometimes, instead of thinking, “what’s most effective?” Asking the community, you know, “what is going to be the most effective thing for me to do to help during this time?” Is it the most effective to protest? You know? Or is it the most effective thing for me and my community, is to, you know, make sure that I’m going to the PTA meetings and you know, standing the ground for the people in the community. You know what I’m saying? Like I think, you know, some of the things that—I saw this clip where these people were, I don’t know if it was in Oregon, but they were going around and having people, it was at a protest, and they were having people just say, you know, “Do you believe Black Lives Matter? Say Black Lives Matter!” Someone saying Black Lives Matter, you know, verbally, does not change my Black life. You know what I’m saying? And so is that the most helpful? And my thing is, clearly, you’re not being led by people of color, because I don’t think that’s something that we would have you to do there. I think there’s another way to use your allyship, and to become more of an accomplice.
So if you’re leading yourself, you’re not really being helpful. You’re not really being an ally, you’re not really being an accomplice in this, and I think sometimes you have good intentions, but to take a pause and say, “Am I listening to Black and brown voices?” You know, and in this space, I feel, you know, right now, like, alright, you know, the same thing with, you know, stop the hate against Asian Americans. It’s not for me to go out there and lead and, you know, try to apply what we’re doing in our movement to their movement. It’s two different movements, two different historical stories, but both relevant. But it’s up to their community and to lean into their community and say, you know, how can we be in solidarity? You know, what conversations do we need to have? What is most helpful in this moment? And I think sometimes that takes a pause. Instead of doing, I think we have to do a lot more being, and a lot more listening as allies, you know.
Tandria Potts 28:05
[Voiceover] We still have a little more unpacking to do as it relates to differences in how people who adhere to, or claim to adhere to, Judeo-Christian values see the world. How can people with the same set of rules and values based upon a shared belief system, see the same things on social media and on the news and see it completely differently?
Audio Clip 28:26
[News audio clip of news anchor speaking] “The police chief says they stopped Daunte Wright because he had an expired registration on his license plate…”
Audio Clip 28:33
[News audio clip of briefing after shooting of Daunte Wright] “As I watched the video and listened to the officer’s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.”
Audio Clip 28:43
[News audio clip of person being interviewed] “You know the difference from a fully loaded pistol versus a stun gun. You know the difference.”
Audio Clip 28:50
[News anchor] “Always best to wait for the facts.”
Audio Clip 28:53
[Man on news speaking] “File that one under not helpful. The idea that your tweet says ‘another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.’ He doesn’t know what happened. Neither do we.”
Audio Clip 29:03
[Person being interviewed] “But I mean, it happens all year long. But there’s something about going into the spring and the summer. It’s almost like clockwork, you can almost guarantee these police officers are going to start killing people…”
Tandria Potts 29:17
So let’s talk a little bit more about Daunte Wright—God rest his soul—and his murder. And how is it possible—within the same body, a body of Christ so to speak, or church group that is under the same leadership—to see that very specific, not even incident but murder, or killing, and see it in two different lights? Two different…How is that possible? If we’re serving the same God, have the same supposed perspective, can we look at something like that and walk away with two different points of view?
Latasha Morrison 29:52
We’re serving the same God but there’s two different Americas and there’s two different lived experiences. And I think our belief systems and our values, they are a product of our lived experiences also. And so how we—the lens that we’re looking through with someone like a Daunte, you know, we’re seeing a kid that was scared. We’re taking in the factors of, you know, this is something that is happening in Minnesota, where this wasn’t the first case. It’s not the second, it’s not the third, they’ve had several instances. And so it lets you know, there is something underneath, there’s something systematically wrong that they’re still not getting it, you know. And this is beyond training. You know, when we’re looking at Daunte, we see a scared kid. And even as I look at this, I don’t know how I would react if I’m being pulled over for something minor, a misdemeanor…and there’s five people there, and they have, you know, pointed guns at me. Like, you don’t know what you would do in that situation! So I think there is this deep way that the Black community empathizes. We are givers of empathy, we are givers of the benefit of the doubt, you know? We are not—we are givers of grace that is not always bestowed upon us. And I think, you know, when this is looked at in a different lens, you know, in a different cultural lens, it’s like this “right versus wrong.” But when it comes to us, it’s like our rights are always this blurred vision that people have for our community. And I think, through some of the lens and how this is looked at, you know, there’s, “Well, he didn’t comply, he got back in this car.” We take in the factors of everything that’s happening. This kid was on the phone with his mom. He was scared. He was nervous. He’s seen people that look like him, you know, murdered for doing the small moving.
Tandria Potts 32:21
How about after they’re handcuffed?
Latasha Morrison 32:22
Exactly! After they’re handcuffed. And so, you know, you have to bring that into account. And then the thing is, like, so if someone doesn’t comply—this kid looked like he weighed maybe 120 pounds, you know. Does that equate to death? And, you know, so you know, just the amount of force that was used in that situation was excessive. And I think we take into account the historical factors. And I think sometimes, on the other side of that, people in the majority culture, white people, they don’t understand or know the historical side of this. You know, they don’t know some of the data and statistics that are coming out of Minnesota, you know. So I think those things come into play when you’re talking about a Daunte you know, and why we see things differently. The same way we saw things different with Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, because it’s like, Black people, stereotypically are [seen as] dangerous [like] we must be dealt with, right? But you’ve never seen this story with a white person, a white young boy. Like white young boys don’t drive around with an air freshener or, you know, that
Tandria Potts 33:42
Or even after they’ve shot up a mall or a school.
Latasha Morrison 33:43
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. You know, and so you have to know that there’s a deep problem here. And these situations keep bringing up, you know, opportunities for us to have a deeper conversation with it. And I don’t think, you know, that that’s happening, you know, because we have a very short term memory when it comes to these incidents. Because we were just here last year with Ahmaud Arbery. And with George Floyd. And at the same time, George Floyd, his trial is happening, you know, his trial is happening like 10 miles from where this incident [with Daunte Wright] happened. And so I think if anybody should be able to get this, um, it should be the church. But the church has ingested the same thing that the world has ingested. It’s not a separate system. This is part of the same unhealthy empire system. And so when we look at the church, we should be Kingdom minded. And Kingdom minded, you know how we say the upside down kingdom of God is countercultural, you know? And if we, you know, we look at history, things that are legal sometimes are not just. You know? Because you know, someone may say, “Well, it was illegal for him to try to flee.” But was it just? Was the excessive force just? And so some things that are illegal are not always just, and some things that are just are not always legal.
You know, and I think that is some of the things that separate. We’re always supposed to, as the people of God and as the kingdom of God, we should always err on that of the side of justice and righteousness. And I think that’s, you know, that’s the thing that we miss in this, in this work. Because there should have been a point in time—if that’s the philosophy of what the kingdom of God is, the example of that, then slavery should have never existed. Especially in a country that says it was founded on Christian principles. That doesn’t even align. And for us to continue to keep saying that is like a slap in every Black and brown person’s face, you know? Especially African Americans, because they don’t align. I mean, if you even read the writings of Frederick Douglass, like when his slave master became a Christian, he became more cruel. So I would question the fact if he ever became a Christian, because that doesn’t align with Scripture. But then you have people like William Wilberforce, who through their faith, and the transformation of their faith, there was a shift, there was a change that happened. And we didn’t see that—we don’t see that in a lot of Christians. Now it did happen with some, but I’m just saying, as a whole, you know, people may have been spiritual, but were they Christian? And I think, you know, that’s the difference. Where a lot of times when we’re reading the Bible through our cultural lens, you know, some of us are reading—and the fact that, you know, we read the lens of the Bible through that of the marginalized, you know—when if we’re truly looking at empire, you know, Western culture, you know, you’re not Esther in this story, you know, you’re probably Haman, you know?
Tandria Potts 37:30
Latasha Morrison 37:30
You’re Pharaoh! And so, because look at how we’ve written the history books that we teach in our schools. You know, we’ve written like we were Pharaoh, and you left the story of the children of Israel, like, out of it, when we’re called to remember so we can understand where God has brought a community of people and how God has redeemed and transformed and restored. You know, we’re called to remembrance. And I think, you know, those are just things that I see where we have more of an empire thinking rather than a kingdom thought. We’re, you know, we have mixed in so many things into Christianity. I mean, you have Christians that are lying, aligning with conspiracy theories that have no base of truth. And you’re, you could be looking truth right in the face, and it’s still denied. And it just baffles! You’re sad by it and you’re baffled by it, but then you understand that we’re not fighting against flesh and blood. And that’s when I have to look at this as spiritual darkness. Like these blind spots, what people are seeing, and saying, like this goes deep. And this is a spiritual battle that we’re in. And I think we have to see it that way. And I hope that others begin to see it and we have to pray against this spiritual darkness. And that’s the way, and so then I’m not vilifying people, so that I can have compassion to continue to do the work that I’m you know, that I’m doing. I have to see it that way. Like my brothers and sisters are like in darkness…like for real.
Tandria Potts 39:19
In its most simplistic form, or how you could kind of give this as a nugget to someone—how would you explain the difference between Kingdom thinking and Empire thinking?
Latasha Morrison 39:36
Yeah…that’s a good question.
Tandria Potts 39:41
[Voiceover] I know, I know. The conversation is so good, and you’re ready to keep listening! Well, this was so good, you got to come back and hear the second part of this conversation. Don’t worry! We’re going to start with kingdom and Empire thinking next time. Trust me, you don’t want to miss Latasha’s insights. Until next time, let’s remember to build bridges and not walls. Go to the Donor’s Table if you’d like to hear the unedited version of this podcast!
In the next episode you will hear: [clip of Latasha from next episode] “Even in death, we could not be buried in a cemetery where there were white bodies, you know? …and it would be funny if it wasn’t real. You know? It would be funny if, if it wasn’t real….”
Thanks for listening to the Be the Bridge podcast! To find out more about the Be the Bridge organization, and/or to become a bridge builder in your community, go to BeTheBridge.com. Again, that’s BeTheBridge.com. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, remember to rate and review it on this platform and share it with as many people as you possibly can. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Today’s show was edited, recorded, and produced by Travon Potts at Integrated Entertainment Studios in Metro Atlanta, GA. The host and executive producer is Latasha Morrison. Lauren C. Brown is the senior producer. Brittany Prescott was our transcriber. Please join us next time! This has been a Be the Bridge production.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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