My perspective on ‘my’ white privilege has been my ability to live life with a different set of rules because of how I look. To be treated with less caution or deemed safe because of the color of my skin, eyes and hair. It has probably gotten me quicker service, an open door or possibly that job. Some results I may never know were simply because of the color of my skin over my actual qualifications. Because of this, I believe education is our greatest tool. Educating ourselves in our profession, our faith and our life. Qualifying myself, even if the world doesn’t. Seeing my skin as a protection of my organs, not a privilege to use for power. Though, I know the world will abuse it anyway.
The worlds definition of ‘privilege’ is an advantage or immunity granted to a particular group or person.
To look at the origin of this word, gives you greater understanding for its context. That we were not originally labeled ‘white’, white is simply a color. We were Caucasian, Italian, English, Irish, Swedish and so on. White was a term initially used in a playwright from 1613 to describe those who were not colored. It was then adopted as an ethnicity during slave trade to show superiority and justify the unconscionable act of human ownership. White was merely a blanketed term for anyone not colored, to justify their dominion.
Sadly, this term is now on every government, school and political document to describe a race that is made up of so much more than ‘white’.
So how we do move forward, more educated, on how we love and treat our fellow humans?
Well first step, stop seeing color as the defining point. And that extends to origin, socioeconomic status and religion.
When Jesus came to this earth, to display His love, He called us sons and daughters, children of God. His book, to this day, is the original document of faith calling us ‘all peoples’ and ‘all nations’, not breaking us up into groups of heirarchy.
To understand how we were created, why we were created and the purpose for our creation, we can simply open the book written by the facts of our history. Reference the words and actions of the real man who walked this earth and died to save us from ourselves.
“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,” -Acts 17:26
One man, of ‘every’ nation.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” -Genesis 1:27
Created man in his ‘own’ image.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” -Galatians 3:28
You are all ‘one’ in Christ.
You see friends, among Christ there is no division. No color. No status. In fact, it is those who create a status, that don’t live among the law. The Pharisees themselves, educated on the Word, were the first to invoke privilege and betray the law of God. To abuse their power, give themselves advantage and persecute those who did not believe or look like them. They were religious leaders, lawyers, humans.
We have Pharisees that walk among us to this day. Those that think their position, their bank account, their skin color give them advantage over a group or people, privilege.
It’s not until we stop seeing ourselves as different and start looking at each other as one, that we can create actual change.
And yes, I realize, coming from a white girl that is easier said than done. But I believe that if every person takes responsibility for their own actions, stops trying to change others and just shifts their own perception, that real transformation can happen.
I take note in all those who walked before us, declaring and demanding change. I honor them with the privilege I did not ask for but received. I honor them with my actions of not seeing color or status but heart and humanity.
I want to dwell on an earth that values life and the precious gift of living it.
I want to start with me. My actions. My choices.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:2
How can we shift our perception of humanity?
How can we love our neighbor? Regardless of how they love us?
How can we become a united nation, of all peoples?
Well…here’s a good start…
33 “ ‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. -Leviticus 19:33-34
Love them as ‘yourself’.