Are you ready for a glass of wine?

I am not a beer drinker but I do like an occasional glass of wine.  I really prefer white wines like Chardonnay, Riesling, and Moscato, Moscato is my favorite though. Yum!  When I think of the current climate of racial dialogue in our country I am reminded of a quote from the great Rabbi Jesus, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins…” – Mark 2:22

I believe the Rabbi was using this metaphor to talk about how a person’s heart and mind really needs to be prepared for new information, particularly if the person has held  a different belief for a substantial amount of time.  Our heart and mind are not good at turning on a dime, and if we do not have proper time, in a peaceful environment to consider, think and embrace the new information, we will burst, metaphorically speaking.

I believe many Americans had old wineskins as it relates to their understanding of racial progress in America. So when the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown, brought “Civil Rights” type protest, they were confused and conflicted.  In their minds, the nation was in a much better place than what they witnessed on tv, radio and social media.  So what needs to happen?  New wineskins need to be developed.

For those who promote racial dialogues and discussions, like myself, we must be willing to let those who are still processing the reality of some of the racial divide that still exists in America time to develop a deeper understanding.  They are developing new wineskins.  And for those who are developing new wineskins, you must be courageous and honest to challenge the old wineskin perspective whenever it is inconsistent with the truth of the current racial reality in America.  Lean into the discomfort of a new wineskin and we will all be the better for it!  #Relate2Color, #DearWhiteChristian

 

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Dear White Christian

In the fall of 2014 during the racial and cultural events in Ferguson, MO, I desperately wanted to know what was going on in the minds of my white friends, colleagues and church members and so I asked them.  One of my trusted white, Christian, friends responded this way: “Here is the deal: we don’t understand it; we don’t know what to say; and we don’t know what to do.”  This response prompted me to want to help my white Christian friends gain a deeper understanding and so I wrote the book, “Dear White Christian: What Every White Christian Needs to Know About How Black Christians See, Think, & Experience Racism in America.”

DWC cover

It is my desire that my book would move race relations forward in a bold new way.  It is personal, warm, but provocative. And it includes questions after each chapter.  It is a great book for groups to read together, but it is also a great book for black and white friends, and colleagues, to read together, to start dialogue.  The book also provides solutions for a way forward.  My book is available on Amazon, buy it today! Read it! Tell a friend! #DearWhiteChristian, #Relate2Color

 

“Dear White Christian provides a black leader’s perspective…to help break down the walls that inhibit real conversations and understanding to take place.”

James Marsh, Director, Van Lunen Center at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI

 

“I commend Dear White Christian to all my brother and sisters…

Thurman L. Williams, Associate Pastor, Grace and Peace Fellowship Church, St. Louis, MO

 

“Aaron Layton’s Dear White Christian is a valuable contribution to our ongoing need for racial healing…”

Mark Dalbey, President, Covenant Theological Seminary, St Louis, MO