Archives For white privilege
Like many, I am still staggering from the fact that the President of the United States blamed “both sides” of the recent Charlottesville white supremacy rally and subsequent attack without openly condemning the white nationalists, let alone doing anything about their actions.
Newsweek just ran an article that “White Nationalism is Now ‘State-Sanctioned’ Under Donald Trump, Experts Say,” which included this video: Continue Reading…
I did a sermon last Sunday (at bottom) that looked at how to apply the many biblical texts about oppression and injustice to a 2017 American context. At Crossroads, we are making intentional steps to become a multi-ethnic church. I’ve been immersed in the multi-ethnic and racial reconciliation conversation since 2008 (when I first read Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith). Many think there aren’t more multi-ethnic churches because of worship style, preaching style, cultural differences, and the general human inclination to clump with people who are like us. In my observation, these are not the real reasons. The primary reason there are not more multi-ethnic churches is because white Christians can’t typically be trusted with the experiences of people of color. What I mean is, church is community. The evangelical church is humorously known for overusing cliche words like “authentic” and “real” and their many synonyms. This is what community is supposed to be. But when a person of color shares their authentic and real experience–the daily racial micro-aggressions they endure, the history of our nation that created the disadvantages they face daily and have to strain to overcome, and so much more–white brothers and sisters in Christ either have no category for these things and are just confused, or at worst, deny these experiences and disadvantages all together. If you can’t be real and authentic about your life experience in your Christian community, then you aren’t going to stay in that community.
Historically, the reason we have black denominations, seminaries, and churches is because the white churches and organizations did not let black people in…so they had to go and start their own. And what we have today is the recent-byproduct. 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…