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|3/11/2013||Point of View: A white guy’s perspective on race|
|5/9/2012||Point of View: Why I’m committed to preaching expositionally|
|1/12/2012||Point of View: ‘God’s Love First’|
|View All Articles by DANNY SLAVICH|
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White people don’t get it.
We have no idea what it’s like to live our lives as a minority, shadowed over by a majority population that just doesn’t quite trust us. I know some of my white friends might read this and be irritated; but, honestly, I just don’t care. Friends, if this bothers you, it just shows that you really don’t get it.
I grew up in a mostly all-white context, to loving, godly parents, who raised me to know and love Jesus. We weren’t racists. Not even close. My context wasn’t one of prejudice, but ignorance. I simply did not have a category for processing the experience of a minority person in a majority culture.
My problem was that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t get it. And I didn’t get that I didn’t get it.
I’ve had friends tell stories of being pulled over because they were a black kid driving through a certain part of town. If I had known that those kinds of things happen (I didn’t), I probably wouldn’t have recognized it as racism (it is). I would have dismissed it. “Oh come on,” I would have thought, “That’s not racism. Get over it. What’s the big deal?” It is a big deal, because there are real people of various colors and cultures who are treated differently simply because of that color and/or culture.
I’ve heard stories of a bunch of white Christian men walking out of a Promise Keepers event because they were asked to repent of their racist heritage. “It’s not our problem,” was the attitude. “We weren’t there! We’re not racists!”
That’s why it’s so easy to stay ignorant. We weren’t there. And many of us white folks may not be racists.
But we’re ignorant. We just don’t get it. And, often, we’re more prejudiced that we realize. We look at the world with white-colored glasses. We have zero categories to process the experience of a minority person, especially one with black skin.
Four years ago, I came to a church in a majority black neighborhood; the neighborhood itself nestled in a diverse, multi-cultural community. I had no idea how much my mono-cultural context had shaped me. I found myself in situations where I stuck out like a white thumb. I felt vulnerable, and lonely. I began to experience a small slice of what friends who happened to have black or brown skin have known all their lives.
I’m so sick of our ignorance. I’m sick of privileged white people acting like racism was assassinated with Lincoln or rode out of town on a bus with Rosa Parks.
It’s still here, friends. Let’s open our eyes, and let’s have a little humility and ask God for grace to see things differently.
Let’s beg God for reconciliation and healing. Let’s speak up, because racism violates the Creator’s intention as much as homosexuality or abortion.
The Gospel is enough. I’ve seen it in our church. I’ve seen it in my own life. Grace abounds.
Danny Slavich is pastor of Pembroke Road Baptist Church in Miramar. This article first appeared on his blog, dannyslavich.com, and is used with permission.
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