White privilege – an incalculable benefit
Running late, of course, huffing and puffing, I caught the bus that had just pulled up. The driver got off for a smoke and I asked when he was leaving. “Four minutes,” said he. “I’m so lucky,” said I. “Yes, you are,” he replied.
Although neither of us mentioned it, I felt white privilege hanging heavily in the air, a reminder that it is an incalculable component of my luck.
I talked with him as he drove and said that I am well aware that white privilege is a good portion of my luck. I don’t remember everything that I said other than I believe #blacklivesmatter, they matter to me, and I believe that, although I’m not sure how I’m confident that we will get through this.
I get weepy when I talk about racism and blubbered throughout this conversation. I think he said that’s okay and I replied, no, it is certainly not okay. He flashed the peace sign and thanked me.
Still overcome with emotion, I went back to talk with him again, gave him a couple of business cards, and said to check out my blog where I have written often about racism. I said that I’m working to improve the housing prospects for all of us.
I was still weepy when he touched my arm and said that I didn’t have to cry. I explained that I’m a weeper and that crying is cleansing and very healthy. Weeping makes people uncomfortable. We should do it more often.
I had the white privilege luxury of not knowing how deeply racism is embedded in our democracy, that I assumed was robust but we now see is quite fragile.
White supremacy has raised its ugly head like a deadly cobra.
My focus on housing and community building cannot be separated from confronting the cancer of racism and fear of the “other,” including immigrants and the LGBTQ community. Our communities will not be healthy or thrive without equal opportunity and freedom from violence and hatred.
This requires a spiritual awakening. Some have made that shift while others remain committed to ignorance, fear, and the belief that if someone else wins, you lose. That is simply not true. Nature, when honored and respected, is abundant. It is the same for humanity. There is enough for everybody. Awakening to that fundamental law is liberating.
Tragically, we are in the midst of a civil war without the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln, or Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King for in-the-flesh guidance. We must sort out this mess community-by-community. Hosting monthly community gatherings is a good way to get the ball rolling. My goal, as always, is partnering with congregations and community groups to host monthly gatherings for socializing, connecting with friends and making new friends too.
New Community Vision seeks to partner with congregations and community groups to organize frequent occasions to socialize and meet others. Eventually, relationships will form, some may be close, while others may be respectful and functional–which is a blessing in itself. Subscribing to the newsletter, Dispatch from a possible future (1st and 3rd Fridays), ensures that you will know about new developments and upcoming gatherings and that you won’t miss anything. As always, please like our Facebook page. If this post resonates with you, please comment. Google and Facebook love your comments but not as much as I do.