A Different Lens – The Racism Post that Never Was

For weeks I have started and stopped writing this post. I have edited it, let others preview it, and it just hasn’t been right. It was really long at one point, and I scrapped everything. The best I could come up with was to state my beliefs with words like: “Despite what our Western, Americanized imaginations might tell us; In the actual Kingdom of God, white people are a minority.” 

To be honest, I feel completely helpless and unfit to write about this topic. I can speak from a biblical perspective, but I am still wrestling with how to do it at this point. Many have done it well, and I’m not sure I have anything to add. In other words, there are far better voices than mine in this area.

For one thing, I am too easily blinded on account of my perspective as a white American male. I am afforded opportunities that others are not. “White privilege” is a very real thing I have come to recognize. Those who insist there is no such thing are undoubtedly enjoying its benefits.

I refuse to live in that kind of denial.

I resist the naivety displayed by saying things like “it’s not as bad as it used to be.”

I also choose not to deflect and cop out by saying, “It’s a complicated issue.” What difficult issue is not complicated?

Whereas I do not feel guilty about my biological and geographical origins, I do feel a responsibility to listen, learn, speak, act, and live in the right way towards others. I want to do my best to understand the world from their perspective. With this issue, I think it is better to let others speak for themselves.

So let me offer two simple things. A passage from Scripture, and a post shared with me that helped me think about this topic from a different perspective. 

•The Scripture: 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:3-8)

•The Post: “Why I stopped talking about racial reconciliation and started talking about white supremacy.”

*See and join the discussion on other posts in the “A Different Lens” series:

A Different Lens

A Different Lens – The “Other”

A Different Lens – Words Matter

A Different Lens – Speaking Up

5 thoughts on “A Different Lens – The Racism Post that Never Was

  1. lisatresch says:

    “An innocent telling of history is foundational to maintaining unjust and racist systems.” The innocent telling of history is directly connected to the way we tell the stories now – using language and anecdotes that are comfortable for the powerful and perpetuate the unjust systems. It seems like a very good moment to have those difficult conversations and dive into an honest retelling of our past. Excellent post – yours and the linked one.

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