Have you ever had another family of a different race at your home for dinner?
That was the question Oklahoma Senator James Lankford randomly asked people he met. Lankford says that while people said they worked with or had friends of another race, almost no one answered “yes.”
Lankford and his colleague, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, believe the first step in healing the racial divide in America is to bring people together over a meal. Last year they explained inTime magazine their joint initiative, “Solution Sundays.”
Americans do not really get to know their neighbors and fellow citizens at a rally or a big event, we get to know each other typically over a meal, especially in our home. What if Americans intentionally chose to put our prejudice and broken trust on the table by putting our feet under the same table? If it seems too simple and obvious, let me ask you this question . . . have you ever had dinner in your home with a person of another race? Many Americans have not.
Sunday is a slower, yet significant day, for most Americans. So, we challenge each family to give one Sunday lunch or dinner for building relationships across race, to literally be part of the solution in America. Obviously any day of the week works since the goal is to engage on the personal level of your own home to break down walls and build trust across our communities. It is harder to stereotype when you know people first-hand.
Lankford says the idea for Solution Sundays arose from his disdain for hearing people say, “We need to have a national conversation on race.”
“People perceive ‘a national conversation’ as being a group of politicians sitting around a table, with a bunch of media cameras around them, as those individuals talk about race and try to resolve things,” Lankford told Focus on the Family. “That’s not how we resolve anything in America.”
Scott and Lankford released a video today to explain Solution Sundays and encourage Americans—especially Christians—to “venture into someone else’s territory and learn as much as you possible can about someone else.”
Can such a small step change America? As U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black says, “it may not be the solution, but it’s certainly the beginning of a solution.”