My skin is white.
Just as the rest of you, I had no choice in my race or my gender. I am who I am.
There is nothing wrong with me. I am a child of God, created in that beautiful image.
But I’m privileged. And I say that out loud.
Why is it so hard for those of us who have spent our lives easily walking through neighborhoods, shopping in stores, going to school, applying for jobs, buying a house, and just living our lives to say that we are privileged? Why can’t we just acknowledge that?
Instead we fight hard with words, situations, stories, beliefs, and excuses as to why that’s not true. Can we ask ourselves why? Can we take a moment and listen to all those voices that resist this idea? Where is this coming from in us and why do we believe this?
What I am saying is this.
It’s ok to be white. It’s ok to be who I am. But it’s not ok to act like I earned the privileges I have today. They just are.
I don’t worry about my kids getting stopped by the police.
I don’t worry about moving into a certain neighborhood.
I don’t worry about walking into a store.
I don’t worry about proving myself because of the color of my skin.
I worry about plenty, but it’s never because of my race. And that’s a privilege.
This is not a post about the truth or lies of the latest news story.
This is not a post about working hard and overcoming.
This is not a post about how we as white people have had hard times too. That’s not the point.
This is simply about skin color and privilege.
And I just want to say this. I don’t write this because I have an agenda. I write this because of many people that I love. People who are my friends. People who I have gone to school with. People who I have worked with. People who I have lived with. It is from these relationships that I have seen a different side. It’s a side I didn’t know until I opened myself up to someone else’s story. It’s a side I will never live. It’s a perspective that I cannot discredit with any authority. It’s a side I can only imagine. It’s a side that has shown me that those who want to “go back to the good old days in America” have never experienced. It’s a side to life that requires us to be a part of someone else’s story. It’s a side that asks us to look back at the years and years and years of oppression.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by the complexity of many things. But this doesn’t have to be complex. It’s just speaking the truth.
I am white.
I am privileged.