Saturday, April 28, 2007

White Privilege

The Justice and Mercy series we're doing at church (see is part of an ongoing journey God has been taking me on. I feel like I'm slowly waking from a long Rip Van Winkle slumber with regard to issues of poverty and racism.

I must've heard the expression, "white privilege" before, but until fairly recently, had little comprehension of how much a part of my life it has been and is.

WHITE PRIVILEGE is an invisible package of unearned assets which I cash in every day of my life, giving me a significant, lifetime advantage over many of those whose skin-color is different than mine.

This web site gives some helpful discussion and illustration on the theme:

My friend Pastor Terry Williams from Unquenchable Fire Ministries, a really great inner city, diverse church in Muskegon, handed me a video to watch this week: WORDS BY HEART, about a young black girl in a rural town at the turn of the century. I'm pretty sure it never won any cinematic awards, but it is a helpful, though gentle portrayal of privilege and racism. Children could watch it and benefit.

Pastor T also recommended I watch the just-released-on-DVD movie staring Hilary Swank entitled FREEDOM WRITERS. It's based on the true story of Erin Gruwell, a first year teacher who believed in her students. Gloria and I watched it tonight. Wow! What a powerful portrayal of the jungle that exists in many cities and schools today, and the amazing difference one person can make. Get it!

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