So! It's update on that conversation yesterday time!
I first approached the young man who posted the photo on Facebook, and asked him if he would feel comfortable with me having this conversation with the whole group, after I shared my feelings with him. I basically made it clear that while I am capable of laughing off jokes and comments like what they made, not everyone is able to do that. My limit was reached with the Facebook post, but other people's limits might have come as soon as the first time the joke was made Friday evening. I basically told him about micro aggression without lecturing him about it. I said that I've been hearing these jokes my entire life, and they stopped being funny a long time ago. He was really good about, apologized, we hugged, and he promptly removed the picture from Facebook.
When I shared this with the whole group, it was in the context of many other things we were talking about. It was almost as if last night was, "I need to get this off my chest" night. I think everyone had something they needed to clear with someone else, and so all in all it was a good evening to broach the conversation of racial sensitivity.
The only thing is that I think I was a tad bit misunderstood. My main concern was for new or young Christians or visitors to the group, who might not be able to so easily brush off unintentionally or otherwise insensitive jokes. Instead of the issue of these jokes being in and of themselves inappropriate getting addressed, the member who had elected herself head of the evening's proceedings brushed it off as, "Well it's good to know people's personal limits." I mean, hand wave and all. But no matter. Good change is not often achieved overnight, and all good change is worth fighting for.
It was an evening of important growth, coming together in community, and new depth of relationship. After all, if you do not feel safe to share the sorts of things we shared and have the sorts of conversations we had, then there's not much trust or depth of friendship there.
I'm quite pleased :).