Some people don’t understand, maybe they can’t, they have no context for the pain that others have experienced or are experiencing and don’t actively seek out the differing (and more challenging) viewpoint. Their privilege allows them the ability to stay ignorant, to become defensive when asked about their views, to be offended when told the truth, to point out that God is in control and assume that a person’s life is hard because they lack a religious je ne sais quoi. White people who are told that they are racist, for instance, too often attack when confronted with their bigotry, when the moment calls for introspection and an attempt to change. Why then would we expect those same people to stand up when the system that treats them so well is shown to be racist? Because they self-identify as Christians? If only that meant something.
Staying up-to-date in the current timeframe is admittedly exhausting, both emotionally and physically. Immigration, asylum, healthcare, trans rights, civil liberties, perjury, Russia, Syria, nationalism, racism, discrimination, fear, hate, impeachment, resignation; how can one person be expected to track all of these concerns (and more), let alone act on and react to them? Unfortunately, you can’t always blame these people for their ignorance of specific subjects, you can’t even blame them for their desire to stay out of it, but you can blame them for staying out of it when push comes to shove.
To those people, I have the following to say, in short:
Are you scared? As white people and due to our privileges in this society, we have little to be afraid of because the system and institutions within that system have not been targeted against us. I know families who are scared because of the threat of deportation; I know families who are scared because they can’t travel without concern of being detained. God calls us to take action against these things and to care for those who are scared and oppressed, He calls us to speak for those who have no voice, He calls for us to clothe the naked and feed the hungry. He also calls us to fight systems that force these circumstances upon our neighbors. Prayer can only get you so far if you are unwilling to step outside your front door and do something to help.
The more news that clogs the feeds, the harder it is to focus on one thing. I have attempted to stay up-to-date and to share out a small fraction of the information I digest, but as scandals break and weekends house even more information, even a summary post is becoming untenable. So on this day of resistance, check out the resources listed below and spend some time being introspective about your actions, especially taking note where you have taken action and where you have decided to be silent.
Sikh-American civil rights advocate Valarie Kaur’s speech on New Year’s Eve was something to behold. If you watch one video today, have a heart and make it hers about raising a brown boy in today’s America.
I usually stick to one Awesome Woman per post, but I really wanted to share both of these.
Posted: March 8, 2017
In 2022, I am participating in two leadership training programs. This should be a social experience, so I am writing about it. Check out the full list of posts in the series here.