White Privilege

Last summer, I took a class called “Dismantling Racism.”  In it, I was taught about White Privilege.  Before this class, I may have known it was a thing, but it never occurred to me that it was a HUGE problem.

White privilege clouds the vision of people against the tough reality people of color in this nation face.  I’ve heard plenty of white people, in a VERY white state say, “Well, I’ve had to work hard to get where I am, why shouldn’t every other race?”  What these people don’t realize is that it’s systematically harder for people of color – and the ignorance of white people just perpetuates it.

NPR posted an article about “The Talk” – a talk that parents have with their children about how to behave when they get pulled over, so as not to appear a threat.  LaVar Burton spoke to the reality that, as a black man, he may be seen as a threat more often than the rest of the population.

I remember my mother telling me, after she interviewed Police officers for an article she wrote, that they recommend keeping your hands at “10” and “2”, and not fishing around your glove box for papers – it looks like you might be fishing for a weapon.  She then said they would never suspect her of that – and it wasn’t said, but they might assume that as a woman, she’s safe, especially white.

My heart has been breaking lately over the fact that women are still overtly discriminated against in churches – In America!! – but now we see that it isn’t just women being discriminated against.  People of color are going through such systemic, under-the-radar discrimination, that parents must fear for their children’s lives.  I’m sad to say I had no idea until I got to grad school that the world still had so very much work to do.  I’ve shed tears, I know others have, and many will continue to do so about these issues.

But rather than give up, we must find HOPE.  Hope in the promise of the future, hope in groups of people in power REALIZING their privilege, and that God’s people can join together to fight injustice and fight for all God’s people to be safe in this world.

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3 thoughts on “White Privilege

  1. During my diversity training at work, given by an outside organization, the presenters did inform us that of the most recent poll of elementary kids that color of skin doesn’t matter and the kid’s comments stated that if we were going to name colors then we should be called peach and brown. Just think, our world is changing and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream that we are not be judged by the color of our skin, but the content of our character, is becoming the reality. We are moving forward and that is what gives us hope.

    • We are moving forward – and I love that kids don’t think it matters, but it doesn’t help that they learn these behaviors and patterns from adults – we must continue to be vigilant and stand for real equality for all God’s children!

      • It does help that kids are learning the behaviors from adults. (Who do you think they are learning that color doesn’t matter from?) Kids are the now and the adults (primarily parents, secondarily extended family, and tertiary the rest of the community) are the teachers. That is what is wonderful, because the negative and derogatory attitudes of our grandparents are becoming so diluted that they are disappearing. This is showing a change of communities. Yes, there are pockets that still need work, but God isn’t done with us, yet. Amazing Grace! As Christians, we are called to bring God’s kingdom and show God’s mercy and allow God’s grace to flow through us. Praise the Lord for the work that needs to be done and that has been done!

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