Question from an attendee of the Nov. 2017 ‘The One Movement Launch Event’:

“For the family that relocated to the city – have you ever experienced prejudice from your own race?  If so, what types of things have been said?”

Answer from one of the panelist, Julie McCabe (bio below):

“Since terms such as prejudice and race can be highly subjective, allow me to define my understanding of these concepts before I answer.  Prejudice is defined as a “preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience,” while race is “a group of people with a common physical feature or features.”  In light of this, it is a common reality to regularly encounter prejudicial comments when choosing to live in an environment where one looks different than the majority culture.  And these “opinions without experience” have come from many people regardless of their race.

Since the question addressed “my own race,” I will answer that specifically here.  Most comments that I deal with are founded on hearsay.  We live in a neighborhood that is featured on the news for it’s high crime rate, so our safety is often questioned.  With seemingly good intentions, people will ask, “should you really be putting your children at such risk?”  We have also encountered friends who refused to visit us or allow their children to play here with our children due to their fear of our neighborhood … although to my knowledge they have spent no time here.  Other people conjecture that living in low-income, high-crime communities is a poor use of personal resources.  People have said, “But you’re on the wrong side of the tracks” or “I love you guys but you’re crazy.”

These comments are simply opinions based on limited perspectives.  Without the experience of living in such a different environment, one can only believe what they have been told.  There is no authentic foundation from which to draw a more educated understanding of truth.”

Answered by: Julie McCabe

Julie McCabe, alongside her husband Bryan and their two daughters, relocated into the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh in 2009 after working in and with the community through a local school mentoring program since 2006. Since this transition, she has studied urban ministry in cross cultural contexts with at risk populations while living it out on a daily basis. “Fun and flexible” is their family motto. “Without relational investment, intentional investigation and authentic reflection, I might never have realized that my heart needed transformation regarding racial reconciliation and unity. I was oblivious until my vantage point changed …”