Archives For people of color

I was on a panel this week at an event entitled Uprooting Racism from the Church, sponsored by the Michigan State University student group MSU Project 1:17. In addition to the live panel, they took anonymous questions from the audience for the speakers to answer online.  I’ve realized recently that I haven’t posted about racism / racial reconciliation in a while.  Somewhat because I’ve been busy with posts about sexual purity, lust, porn, marriage, etc. that go along with my recent book release.  But to my discredit, it’s also because some white Christians who would be interested in buying my book about sexual purity would also be upset about what I write about race.  So in my fear of man, I have backed down from speaking the truth (the same temptation I face as a pastor with the topic of race, Lord help me).  How quickly and easy it is to fall into this trap!  I had also become fatigued with debates and fatigued with people being upset with me, so had taken the easy road.  I apologize for that to anyone reading this, especially my friends of color.

I thought posting a blog with my answers to these Q&A questions would be helpful because I’ve already written them, and because I’ve previously articles on these subjects, which you can find at the bottom of each post.  There will be 3 of these, with the questions having been anonymously submitted from the crowd at the event earlier this week.  The original format for these was on a Facebook event page, which I’ve just copied and pasted here.  I’ll post one each day over the next three days.  I thought I’d start off with the most provocative of the 3!

The Question:

If life is so bad for people of color in the United States, then why do those who complain continue to live in the US? Why do they not move to another country?

My Answer: Continue Reading…

Discussing white privilege in an effort to bring unity and reconciliation is like walking on a high wire coated with random landmines.  You say the wrong thing, the wrong trigger word, and BOOM: end of conversation.

I’m going to try my best to navigate this wire, please bear with me with grace.

Why this is important

Imagine a population of color, who has always been the numerical minority, who feels that those in the dominant majority (in this case: white skin) relieves a person of certain stressors and thus provides them with certain advantages.

But, that white population who is the majority doesn’t see a difference.

The minority feels there is a difference.

The majority doesn’t.

Off the bat, can you crystallize the conflict and tension on both sides?

The majority thinks the minority needs to stop complaining, or to stop making things up, or to take responsibility.  The majority thinks that the very conversation about the minority having more stress and resistance in life is an excuse to blame someone else for their problems and not try, and the conversation gets categorized accordingly.  In addition, the majority often feels like they are being accused or attacked.

Meanwhile, the minority Continue Reading…

I’m white.airbnb-a8707ed9_original

I can use AirBnB instead of hotels when I travel.

I can drive around wherever I want without fear of getting pulled over for no reason.

I can shop in stores without being followed by employees or security.

My culture is always the dominant culture surrounding me.

I never have to assimilate to or accommodate another culture.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 2.28.37 PMAlmost all movie characters look like me.

Almost all of the Disney characters look like me.

Almost all of the characters in the kids’ books I read my children look like us.

My skin tone and culture are normal.

It’s great to be white.

 

My point to this list is not to point out every aspect of white privilege (you can find that list here if you’re interested).  It’s to point out: Continue Reading…

This is not a blog post to try to help white people understand what white privilege is and/or to persuade them to acknowledge it and do something about it.

I did a blog post a few months ago that did that.  It was helpful for many and received flak from others.  I used the analogy of a basketball game where one team cheated to get a 100-15 lead prior to the rules being made fair at the beginning of the 4th quarter.  The post was an attempt to help us position ourselves to at least have a conversation about white privilege in a constructive way.  You can read that post here.

A few weeks ago, my friend Jeremy Dowsett totally copied me but instead used the analogy of riding a bike on streets made for cars.  His analogy and blog article are great and received several billion (or something like that) more hits than mine.  You should check that out here.

Today’s post is not to convince you that white privilege exists or that American society is slanted unjustly in favor of white people.  If you’d like to argue against the existence of white privilege or call me names, please stop reading here and do so on the above link, not this one.  Better yet, do it on Jeremy’s page.

Today’s post is for those of us whose eyes have already been at least somewhat opened (I say “somewhat” because I know even my eyes need much more opening to be done still) to what white privilege is and we’d like to know what we can do about it.  We have white privilege.  We feel bad about it.  Is there anything we can do about it besides feel bad? Continue Reading…

When we hear the word “racist,” we think of KKK members, the “N-word”, or the recent comments made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  A racist is someone who doesn’t like people of other races.  Typically in America it has been seen as a white person who doesn’t like black people.

When the topic of white privilege is brought up, white people typically hate this because we immediately feel like we are being called racist.  Racist like Donald Sterling or a KKK member.  We don’t like talking about it because it makes us feel like we’ve done something wrong when we haven’t.  We have black friends and we are nice to all sorts of non-white people.  We aren’t racist.

White privilege does not make you racist.

I’m hoping we can talk a little bit about white privilege now.

You aren’t racist.

Seriously, don’t comment on this post or on Facebook that I’m calling you racist.

You aren’t racist.

The defensiveness of feeling like you’ve been called a racist, and the assumed guilt associated therein, makes much needed conversations impossible to have.

My hope is we can have some of that conversation. Continue Reading…