I am a racist

Does anyone actually think they are a racist?

Except I am willing to admit by fact of my upbringing, my own color, and the society that I live in that I am a racist.

I didn't actually grow up with people of color around me.  Except for one family here and there.  There was nothing normal about diversity.  There were no racist slurs in my family. There was no discussion of diversity at all.   So I picked up everything that society showed me.

I feared east St. Louis...because everyone who lived there must be violent and carry a gun.  And never once heard a discussion of systematic oppression, poverty, lack of opportunity.

I only knew that black people could be middle class because of the one or two families in town and the Cosby show.

I had no models of people of color being in positions of power.

Jesus, God, Mary, all of 'em they were all white.  Just like me.  In my initial imagination they still are.

When I encounter a group of young black men on the street...I confess be being guarded and cautious.  I would be with white young men too.  But, it is different.  Undoubtedly different.  I constantly am talking myself out of my preconceived notions.

I have privileges afforded to me that without recognizing the advantages I innately posses.

I could go on. I really could.
But I think on MLK day it is important for me to recognize that I contribute to my own societies problems. And while, I actively talk about color read about race issues (discussions lead by people of color) and am inspired by the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I am reminded by him that I too am a contributor of my societies problems.

And while I am not Newt Gingrich in my racism.  Nor am I any worse than most of my white brothers and sisters I think its important for white people to name this about ourselves.

And that part of the work of Christians is to own this.  And to work against it.


  1. Absolutely! It is so much the work of white people to recognize this, recognize how much we are *all* created by and informed by a racist society, and face our own racist tendencies.


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