Thursday, February 09, 2012

Why We Don't Always "Get It" When It Comes To Racism

Photo Credit: maHidoodi
Pastor Greg Boyd offers a challenging perspective on why it can be so difficult for us white people to "get it" when it comes to racism. Here are some of his thoughts:
"Most white people I know sincerely believe they live in a country that is, for the most part, a land of equal opportunity that is mostly free of racism. Yes we all see the occasional overt racism that erupts now and then in America, and most of us are genuinely revolted by this. 
But we tend to see these events, and the attitudes behind them, as rather atypical of America as a whole. And yes, most of us white folks know at least a little bit of the shocking statistics of disparity in America (e.g. young black males are statistically more likely to end up in prison than to go to college). But, given our operative assumptions about America, we whites often either refuse to believe these statistics or, more commonly, we find ways to explain them away. 
I honestly don’t for a moment think this is because white people are generally racist. I believe most white people genuinely despise racism, so far as they understand it, and sincerely believe they are anti-racist, so far as they understand it. It’s just that they don’t understand it very far. Our awareness is stunted because our life-experience tends to blind us to racism as a subversive structural issue."
To read more about Pastor Boyd's journey of understanding on this topic please click here.

(h/t to Maureen Okonkwo for the link.)

No comments: