We have many new “honorary Greyfriarians” tuning in from around the world to our Sunday morning services. One such friend is John, who is walking across a portion of Minnesota, in Anoka County, located in the northern part of the United States. John’s anti-racism walk was inspired by the Sunday sermon given on the 21st of June, here at Greyfriars Kirk. Read his message below, and follow his walk on Greyfriars social media!
Anoka County – Stand Up to Racism
Racism exists in our county [Editor’s Note: John lives in the United States]. We can choose to be anti-racist to help end racism, or by inaction we allow racism to exist – to continue and to grow. It is interesting that “Anoka” literally means both sides and working waters. The name was derived from two Native American words. The native Dakota used A-NO-KA-TAN-HAN, meaning “on both sides” referring to its location on the banks of the Rum River. The Ojibwe used ON-O-KAY, meaning “working waters”. This justice walk is a working walk, like stirring water, to create awareness to stir learning, discussion and action, to help bring people together to end racism.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail
We can learn- here are some resources, of many:
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Highway of Tears A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing Indigenous Women and Girls by Jessica McDiarmid
White Fragility by Robin Dianglo
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
I’m walking, 8 days, 8.46 miles per day, in Anoka County, to different communities each day. Starting at 8:46 a.m., every day, Sept 18 to Sept 25, four months after the day George Floyd died. I am acting to call attention to racism, I’m willing to talk to anyone, to discuss, to help myself and others discover better how to act to end racism. Yes, we can discover ways to commit ourselves to help end racism, this is what I need to do, how about you?
Each day, I give special pause. Today I am walking in memory of _________________________________________________, and I am also honoring and paying tribute to this historical event or person(s) in the fight against racism: