June 18, 2015

Becoming conscious of protecting my Whiteness

In light of the recent Charleston shooting at a historical AME church, I want to acknowledge that I protect myself from being vulnerable when White folks begin talking about racism, Whiteness, and White privilege. It's not something I've been conscious of until recently. To outsiders and observers, I can come across as listening intently, or as adding to the discussion by sharing "what I've learned as a White person."

Inside my own skin, though, as someone who is working for racial justice, I know I am not stretching myself by sharing parts of my own anti-racism journey. Sharing my experience is something I do fairly easily. In some respects, I'm putting on what I now see as a show, for the sake of accompanying others who are struggling, and I get praise and encouragement for doing so.

I'm the only one who knows that I could be doing more. I could be making myself more vulnerable, take more risks. The Inward Teacher, along with guidance from friends of color, is in fact giving me such instruction.

I might not feel ready to take on more risk, like participating in direct actions of civil disobedience that could end with my being arrested.  Even as I hesitate, God loves me. And God requires that I do more on behalf of God's Family and its members of color that are not treated kindly.



Lone Star Ma said...

Yeah, I kind of decided to stay out of prison at least until my kids are grown if I can, but I often feel very guilty about that choice and privilege.

Liz Opp said...

Hi there, Lone Star Ma... It's been a long while since we've seen each other in the blogosphere.

At first, I wasn't sure how to take your comment, but then I saw on your profile page some other things about how you aren't living up to what other Texans might expect.

OTOH, if I'm missing your point, I hope you'll let me know and add clarification.