Sunday, January 24, 2016

On White Privilege II

Race, Injustice, and the Single Garment of Destiny

Despite what Macklemore says, we honor people when we actually afford them the dignity of being responsible for their own successes and shortcomings. We dishonor people when we invent special rules for (socially and politically constructed) groups which lower expectations for them. Not only is it dishonoring, it is racist.

"Choosing our options," rather than being a privilege, is a reality for each individual. How degrading and harmful it is to imply to someone that they have no choice. Life never has been and never will be "fair." Each one of us makes choices from where we stand today.

As the 1%ers of the world, I suppose all Americans are blessed with privilege while the rest of the world is left with scars. As the privileged global 1%, what choices are you making that will determine what you achieve? But I'm gonna be me so please be who you are.

"Should I even be here marching?" "Is it okay for me to say?" Have we (are we "we"?) regressed to the point where these are serious questions?

He might not have been a hip-hop/pop artist but a decent lyricist from a previous era wrote,
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.
Damn, a lot of opinions. A lot of confusion. It's almost as if this ground hasn't been tread before.

If we spent less time othering one another into ever-narrowing constructs and more time honoring the gains of previous generations we could skip already-answered questions and take action. What if you actually read an article, had a dialogue, looked at yourself, got involved? Psst, no one is stopping you. The narrow, provincial "outside agitator" question has already been answered.

Our generation has created an entire industry out of undermining the network of mutuality and tearing apart the single garment of destiny. We were all many steps ahead to begin with before we chose to undo progress by proudly segregating ourselves into narrow, provincial social constructs of victimhood. Now our artists are riddled with angst over whether they can speak out about injustices against another race.

Success is not the product of white supremacy and lack of success does not make one a victim. The dark clouds of racial prejudice will not soon pass away while so many are committed to deepening the fog of misunderstanding and locking us into, rather than lifting us from, our fear drenched communities.

Jeff Wright, Jr. is a Chaplain in a "city of lost souls" and holds a Master of Theology (ThM) from Dallas Theological Seminary. His other areas of interest include the kingdom of God, American evangelicalism, the ministry of the local church, and all things Star Wars. He also blogs at Libertarian Christian Institute. You can find him @jeffwrightjr.

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