Many of you who follow my blog may know that I typically write about spiritual topics. It was never my thought or intention to enter the fray of injustice and inequality, but God has a different plan. I trust that He will guide me along this path working toward justice. My hope and prayers is to share the Father’s heart from a Kingdom perspective and perhaps make a positive influence on matters of injustice and inequality in our society today.
I never gave much thought to the term “white privileged.” The subject is difficult to talk about because many white people don’t feel powerful or feel they have privileges others do not. For those who have privileges based on race or gender or class, etc. it’s just normal.
Random House Dictionary defines privilege as “a right, immunity or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most.” Author Francis E. Kendall, Ph,D, in Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race says ”Privilege, particularly white or male privilege, is hard to see for those of us who were born with access to power and resources. It is very visible for those whom privilege was not granted.” This not to say that every one feels this way, but there are those that do. What caught my attention is that “it costs”.
I grew up in the south in the late 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I first experienced racism at the age of eight when I went to a mostly white school in the early 60’s as schools began to desegregate. When I began third grade I was the only “black” student in my class. I was too young to understand the significant impact this would have later in life. During the first few years it was really difficult. Despite the bullying and feelings of isolation I managed to press through.
It was in 1965 that schools in Dinwiddie County, VA where I grew up began to racially integrate. I was among one of the first African – American students to enter a all white elementary school. What I didn’t know was that experience was ordained by God. A few years ago the Lord impressed upon me that this experience was meant to prepare me for things to come.
In researching for this post, I didn’t know that Virginia had resisted the Supreme Court decision in the 1954 landmark school desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education, that “separate but equal” facilities were inherently unequal. I sensed a sadness that I had never felt before.
The Virginia state legislature established an official board–the Gray Commission (named after state senator Garland Gray)–to consider its alternatives after Brown. (Virginia’s “Massive Resistance” to School Desegregation http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu)
Ten years after the US Supreme Court ruled in Brown II (1955) for school racial integration with “all deliberate speed,” many school districts in states with school segregation gave their students the right to choose between white and black schools, independently of their race. In practice, most schools remained segregated, with only a small minority of black students choosing to attend a white school and no white student choosing black schools. Freedom of Choice (schools) (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_Choice_(schools)). In this case, my parents chose for my siblings and I believing we would receive a better education.
Fast forward to 2018, is equality a myth? In The Myth of Equality, Uncovering the Roots of Injustice and Privilege, Ken Wystma writes. “Racial bias is subject with many subtleties.” “Issues of race go deeper than we often realize.” He also writes, “Racism in the United States is worse than we thought.” Mind-blowing.
As a minister of the gospel, witnessing the current events taking place today involving racial injustice, degradation of women, human trafficking, and slavery in other parts of the world, etc., my heart is truly grieved to the point of tears because I know that this is not the Father’s heart and He is grieved. If you’ve never lived the experience you would think that there is no way that we live in a society that still judges people by the color of their skin, looks upon women with disdain or would sell people into a dark life of slavery when Christ died to set us free.
Racism is a heart issue. Degrading women and others is a heart issue. Human trafficking is a heart issue. Slavery is a heart issue. The Bible says, “Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.” We are all created in God’s image – Imago Dei (image of God – Genesis 1:27). Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
History repeats itself in cycles of sin. Everything that does not come from faith is sin (Roman 14:23). Sin pulls people away from what is right, not realizing this has an effect on their life, their family, their community, their nation, and relationship with God. Join me on this journey of discovery as I seek to understand and share the Father’s heart on issues that impact many nations. “Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)