When Your Grandfather Was the Architect of Apartheid...

Wilhelm Verwoerd steps into the Confessional

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Season 2, episode 1:

This June, at the height of the protests over the murder of George Floyd, I was walking around a lake by my house and talking on the phone with my friend Padraig.

“It would seem there are many white people in your country who are grappling with a whole new understanding of America and of themselves right now”, my Irish friend astutely observed.

“Yeah” I replied. “We are. And what do I have? A Confessional Podcast. Not helpful.”

As we spoke about social change, protests, and how hard it is to see systems when we are so deeply embedded in them, I said, “I wish I could have a white South African on the show who could confess their own story about being complicit in the system of apartheid and how they eventually woke up to how evil it all was.”

Padraig, always the magical person he is, replied, “I have your guy. Wilhelm Verwoerd”

I am so excited to share this conversation with you, that I have made it episode one of season two of The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber. I hope you listen. Because Wilhelm has been doing anti-racism work for decades and served on his country’s truth and reconciliation commission…and it was his own family who were the ones who designed the system of apartheid to begin with. Which means the learning, un-learning, repenting, changing and action of anti-racism is a life-long journey but there are others on the path whose stories can be helpful. 

New to Podcast Listening? I want to make it easy!

This link takes you to Wilhelm’s episode on my website. Scroll down just a wee bit and you will see this:

Just click on that triangle and you’re golden. No need to download a podcast app or figure our how to subscribe to the podcast. Hope this helps, Karla! (Eric’s mom. She’s adorable and I love her.)

Tune in this Saturday Aug 8th at 10a PST, 11 MST, noon CST, 1p EST and 7p in Cape Town for a 30 min Instagram Live chat between Wilhelm and me. Join us, and ask questions in the comment section!

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Are you still learning about the reality of race in America?

Here’s an amazing documentary about the 13th amendment. Directed by Ava DuVernay and I cannot recommend it more highly.

Would you like to support an organization that helps provide cash bail out money for Black mothers?

There are tens of thousands of people in jails in America who have not been convicted of a crime, but cannot afford the cash bail that would free them until their cases are resolved. We imprison people for being poor and disproportionally, they are Black and POC. Parents are separated from their children because they are not wealthy enough to pay for their release, which is profoundly destabilizing for families. So here’s an idea: when your mom or auntie or sister (or anyone else) has a birthday, instead of buying them something they neither want nor need, donate the money in their honor to the Black Mothers Bail Fund.

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