Black Girls Be This: a Meditation on Holy Week and HB-2

This week is the holiest of holy weeks in the Christian faith. With Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Resurrection (or Easter) Sunday, it is supposed to be a time of honoring the greatest sacrifice made and a celebration of renewal. Newness. But one cannot bask in the Great Re-Do without first taking ownership and account of what has been done.

Last night, in the moments before the new day, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed HB-2 into law, effectively eliminating anti-discrimination regulations that protect those in the LGBTQ communities and veterans. Many North Carolinians responded with #WeAreNotThis and while I understand the sentiment, the truth is, we are. And we always have been.

#WeAreThat when we ridicule the little boy who likes playing with dolls. #WeAreThat when the little girl mentions a boy from school and we immediately ask if that’s her boyfriend. #IAmThat when both of my examples use gender roles that exist on a socially constructed binary and #YouAreThat if you didn’t even notice until I pointed it out.

So, yes. We are this. Our state is this. The world is this. And just as the people of Golgotha were all #GoJesus on Sunday, I’m sure they would have called you a bald-faced liar if you tried to tell them that they would be #CrucifyHim on Friday. They would have sworn that #WeAreNotThis. And yet…

But as a Christian woman, I have to believe in a God of renewal and resurrection; a God that can empower us to live a life worth hashtagging. Because as Reverend Lisa Yebuah of Edenton Street United Methodist Church says, “what God can do in us, God can do through us.” So we will be the ones that ask and honor folks’ preferred gender pronouns. We will be the ones to let our children grow and develop without shackling them to gender roles. We will be the ones to let everyone cry and everyone get dirty and everyone play sports if they so choose and love who they so choose and pee where they so choose. We are not this yet, but with intentionality, communication, re-education and most importantly, Love, #WeCanBe.

This post was inspired by the sermon preached by Rev. Lisa Yebuah at Edenton Street United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 20th, 2016.

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