In Black and White

How did we get to August with over 150,000 people dead from Covid 19?

It’s bleak for sure, and for a long time people will struggle to answer that question.

I try to always see the positive side of things. Obviously with over 150,000 people dead from this dreaded virus that’s a challenge.


This artwork originally appeared with an article on communicatting to bridge differences in races on

Has anything good come from the pandemic? I’d argue yes. The virus has spotlighted the inequalities in our country. I find it hard to believe anyone would deny that the folks who’ve been hit the hardest by the virus are older, poorer, minority members of our society, and folks with underlying conditions. One can’t help but wonder if the virus had primarily attacked wealthy white folks would the response from elected officials have been different or speedier?


 However, because the problem has been spotlighted in way that cannot be denied, then we can begin to work to fix it. As long as you are in denial of a problem, you don’t see the need to act much less to search for solutions.

Despite the slow progress made over the years, the black/white divide has never seemed quite so stark.

MLK From The Economist

Presbyterian Women of Ridglea, our women’s organization, has followed the lead of the Presbyterian Church USA. We’ve begun a 4-session study for the month of August called “In Black and White.” We’re reading and watching and listening to black authors and speakers. For too long white voices have been the primary voices to shape our world. We are taking a small step to decenter that whiteness.

The first article we read for last night’s session was “Decentering Whiteness in a Multiracial Society” by Stephanie M. Patterson printed in the September/October 2019 issue of Horrisons.

For next week’s class, we’re watching Baratunde Thurston’s Ted Talk Baratunde Thurston: How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time

Then we’re reading an article I’ve shared here that I saw on Facebook: My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege. I Decided to Be Honest, from Yes! Magazine. Here’s the link to my blog post with the link to that the FB comment.

Lastly, we’re discussing Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson either movie or book.


Thomas Jefferson said: All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. I have paraphrased this to say. All evil needs to triumph is for good people to be silent.

It’s past time for people of good conscience to speak up. We’re listening first, so we can learn how best to speak up. I’ll keep you posted on our progress of this study.

Have you filled out your census forms and sent them in? You absolutely must do this. This information impacts how Federal Funds are allocated. Encourage your friends.  Have you asked for a mail in ballot? Is that even an option in your state?

Please be safe out there. I’d love to hear from you.

You can contact me at or through my web site where you can also sign up for my NEWSLETTER , Blog, or check out any of her social media sites.  @Marsharwest

7 responses to “In Black and White

  1. “One can’t help but wonder if the virus had primarily attacked wealthy white folks would the response from elected officials have been different or speedier?”

    I don’t believe it would have been. Covid is also affecting wealthy, white people. The whole reason this occurred to the extent that it did and continues in the U.S. is because of Trump. It was “a hoax”. And his ignorant followers are not wearing masks because of him. And he’s still not doing anything. Will he be tried for war crimes?

    Good for you and your church studying the black white divide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Susan. Yes, of course, wealthy white folks have gotten sick and died, but not in the numbers this has hit minorities. Interesting thought, “war crimes,” Certainly his behavior seems to be criminally negligent. I don’t know whether taking time to prosecute him is good. I know I never want to hear from him again when he’s gone. We have a wonderful president of our women’s organization. Rather than just wring her hands about a sad situation, she has felt called to try to do so. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  2. Thanks so much for writing this piece. I’m a typical middle-class American who generally can see both sides of an issue. For example, I am primarily a supporter of law enforcement and believe in the importance of laws and rules in any organized society. I think that the majority of police officers perform a challenging job admirably. That said, if we don’t call out injustice and police brutality when it happens, we are failing to police ourselves.

    For the record, as a retired educator, who devoted his life to that profession, I feel the same way toward teachers. We should never condone anyone who uses their position of authority to mistreat others.

    I think the Facebook post regarding White Privilege is one of the most well-articulated and thoughtful pieces I have read in a long time. Thank you for sharing it with your audience. The education of society can take more than a lifetime, but it is one of those battles worth fighting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey, Pete. I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Yes, our women’s 1 month study is just a beginning. Just because something will take a long time and be hard to do is no reason not to start. And nothing takes longer than changing hearts. The FB post was a wake-up call for me. As well as one I saw explaining why responding to Black Lives Matter with All Lives Matter, misses the point. The post said, if someone say, “my mother died,” you’d never think for a moment to respond with “Well, all mothers die.” Light bulb moment. We need more of those. Thanks for your time in education and for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Marsha. 🙂 I’m so glad you mentioned filling out Census forms. It just so happens that I ran into a little bit of a problem while trying to fill it out online. What I really wanted to do was report my own information, but the online form wasn’t set up for that. At the moment, it’s set up for the head of the household to fill it out for all of the people in the house. But I wonder how increasingly accurate it would be if individuals age 18 and older were permitted to submit their own information online. It’s definitely not a complaint about how the system doesn’t work; rather, I think it illuminates just how complicated lifestyles can be these days and how difficult it is to appropriate funding from the federal level all the way down to people in a variety of living arrangements at the local level.


  4. Thank you for the links to the info you and the ladies of the church are discussing. Our Bible studies have not started up yet. We aren’t allowed in the church yet. Maybe middle of Sept. I really miss the gals. Most of them are not online savvy, so we just haven’t met. I believe the black lives matter movement is good, but from what I have watched/read, the Black Lives Matter organization is war-like and ready to burn down anything in its path. What does your group know about that?


  5. Pingback: Still Raining & Memorial Day | Marsha R. West, Author·

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