The conversation about “whiteness”

Well, since people have been asking me about this journey of mine concerning racism…

I’m just joking. I love seeing others post something like that. (“People have been asking me…”)

Well, that may be “true” for them (wink wink) but I just had to write that one time. I write all this in the void. In the silence. (“The opposite of love is not hatred. It is silence.”)

So I continue to write into this void because I want to chronicle my journey. Currently, that journey has me in the book by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from the Slaveholder Religion.

This longer quote is a great summation of what “whiteness” means. At least it brings me some clarity.

“One of the illusions of whiteness, I’d begun to realize, was that each of us is somehow a world unto ourselves, responsible for the choices we make and the relationships we choose.
“But the compound effect of sin-sick individuals is an UNJUST SOCIETY. Along with racial blindness and racial habits, white people have inherited racial politics. Like our racial habits, racial politics have little to do with how each of us feels about other individuals. Try to talk to a white person about racial politics and the go-to response is some version of ‘that’s not what my black friends say.’ And it’s true — because racial politics has never been about hating the people you know. Racial politics is about dividing us from the people we don’t know through fear, then offering a savior to make us feel secure.”

One of the great things I’ve learned over the past 20 years in ministry is this: I love hanging around people I disagree with or I just don’t know that well or people who are just different than me. I have grown to absolutely love it. What I have discovered in this journey is the more I am around people not like me, the deeper I sense the love of Christ and the more I love people as a result.

But in that process, I’ve had to deal with my “whiteness.” I haven’t had to deal with my skin color. I’ve had to deal with my mentality. That has been the hardest part of the journey. And, without doubt, is still what hangs me up. I’ll run across people who don’t understand my journey and just assume things because I’m white, or be shocked because they knew me 20 years ago and now I’m talking “different” (in their eyes).

At any rate, this is part of my journey for no one to respond to at this point in time. 🙂

2 thoughts on “The conversation about “whiteness”

  1. OK, he wants no response. So I won’t mention that I’ve enjoyed very much this and the other comments over the years. We all need to disagree agreeably, especially in these most disagreeable times. Blessings on each and all.

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