6.03.2020 Jessica Leigh Biles Blog Race

Race Seems to be an Issue Alive and Well

Race is a hot topic right now and unfortunately not one I consider myself well educated on. I popped into my Instagram feed to see 90% of my grid covered in black boxes. Subsequently, I realized a call to action had taken place, bu I wasn’t quite sure what it was or what it meant. Meanwhile, I’m not one to jump on a bandwagon because most of my friends were. So consequently, out of confusion, I cancelled my scheduled post for the day and turned my attention towards the land of Facebook.

What I found was disoncerting.

Firstly, I saw a post of a friend on a rant, ending it with shaming fellow human beings by groups of people such as rapists, murderers, racists… you get the idea. A quick scroll revealed similar posts to that of my friend. Remember, I am a woman who has faith in a higher power, and I believe all lives matter. ALL. LIVES. Even the rapists. Certainly this doesn’t mean a person who does wrong gets to get away with it – I also support a judicial system. However, I stand firm that ALL lives matter and can find repentance. The Apostle Paul is my favorite example of how the worst human being became one of the biggest ambassadors for Christ.

Scrolling through Facebook and seeing many more similar posts spitting out hatred and relishing in fear in regards to race, I felt a sense of heaviness and sadness I didn’t quite understand.

On the other hand, I had a series of thoughts: Love wins. In the end, love conquers all. People can’t see past hate, and they see through love. Love is what we need. Love. LOve. LOVe. LOVE.

All I could hear in my head was


Half my life I grew up in California; the Bay Area. That is to say, I lived in Vallejo for a handful of years. Due to the fact that schools were not safe, my parents chose to homeschool me – though I think it was considered illegal. Also, my parents wanted to shield me from gangs, violence and I don’t know what else. A few years later, when I was 11, my parents moved our family to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

The extent of my education upon moving was 2 things:

1. Don’t tell people we are from California, because people in Idaho didn’t like all the Californians moving to the area.

2. White supremecisits live there….

And that sums it up.

The conversation surrounding race is not part of my childhood conversations.

As a result, I sit in 2020 as an adult woman thinking that racism is an issue of the past. Even when I look into the eyes of my friend and listen to her stories, I don’t quite see the issues as being… REAL. White privilege.

Please be kind as I share a vulnerable piece of my story in light of the results from the murder of George Floyd.

I was concerned. I thought, “A man killed by corrupt cops who need to be stopped.” The conversations continued, my uneducated thoughts tapped into a new question. “Is this really a race thing? It sounds like it’s more of a cop issue and I don’t understand why people are changing the narrative. “Weren’t cops of different ethnicities involved?”

I realized I am uneducated in race.

The Black Lives Matters movement has been overwhelming in my social media feeds as has the hatred, malice and shaming. Consequently, I felt shamed into silence. However, I realized that is okay. As a matter of fact, it was alright that I took a moment to watch and center my thoughts on truths. Fortunately, this happened through a couple quick Google searches.

Here’s what I learned. In Minneapolis, 90% of the cops live outside the city in a suburban area made up of 80% Caucasian people. Furthermore, the Twin Cities made huge leaps in effort to de-segregate in the 1960s and 19070s and was the “most racially integrated in the nation.” But, efforts failed resulting in continued segregation. George Floyd grew up in a very low income area that was mostly African Americans, like himself. He was picked up on a border where the mostly black community shifted into the mostly white community.

Bingo. Now I think I’m starting to get it.

There are two stories here. Two devastations and two fights. Unfortunately, it appears police officers have freedom to bend the rules at their will. And sadly, they aren’t protecting their city and they don’t live in the city in which they are stationed in! This is bizarre to me. So of course the second fight is the very real issues of race.

For instance, my eldest daughter is bi-racial, her biological mom is Afrcian- American. So that fact Ciena has Down Syndrome, has me more worried about other things that could happen to her, and not so much being pulled over for driving the speed limit. Still though, it’s something to think about.

Above all, here is what I know: God is Love. Love conquers all. Unfortunately, nobody can see past hate thrown in their face. However, we all have ability to see through Love.

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