White Privilege: Often I think we get the wrong picture in our head when we think of this term. I wanted to share something that has helped me understand it more.
I once heard it described more like a Monopoly Game that was started by our great grandparents. (much longer ago than that but for this illustration we are going with four generations)
Four gentlemen sit down to play, 1 black man and 3 non-black men. But once they started playing they said to the black man, “oh, you aren’t allowed to have a turn and actually the guy next to you gets your turn and to use your game piece, so basically he gets to play twice as much but you can’t play at all but you’re still in the game.” SO the game continues…. Then the next generation sits down to play and they say to the black man, “We are SO sorry for how our dad’s treated you, of course you get to play, as long as everyone here is okay with you playing. And sorry but you can’t buy any properties or buildings. And we pick up where our dads left off financially.” So the game continues…. Then the next generation sits down and says “We are SO sorry for how our dads treated you, you are allowed to play no matter what, and you can buy properties in certain locations (if there are any left to buy) and wait, you owe the banker quite a bit still from your dad spending time in jail and/or claiming bankruptcy. And don’t try to cheat to get ahead, we are watching you.” Somehow he’s able to buy a property and even buy a house, he’s heard of other black men buying a lot more but he’s still happy with what he has. so the game continues… Then we sit down to the game, We say, “we are SO sorry about how our dads and granddads treated you. You are free to play just the same as we are, no restrictions, no boundaries, YOU are equal in every way to us. We want you to have the same opportunity to win this game as we do.” Then the black guy looks at the board and sees his one property and his one house, not really much money has been saved… He brings up the fact that the deck seems already stacked against him, and that it’s really not fair and that he doesn’t have the same opportunity as they do. “you don’t want the property I own and there’s no way I can buy, much less afford the rent of what you own” We look at him and say, “quit being a victim, stop complaining, It’s not our fault our dads did what they did. We already apologized for how they played, but we won’t apologize for having all we have. Just play the game and make something of yourself.”
And so the game continues…..
* This is not a perfect analogy, it’s just something that has helped me understand what people are talking about when they say white privilege. There’s really a lot more we benefit from than just this illustration provides, but again… it helped me. Nothing takes the place though of reading actual facts and stories of black history. It changes you. It changed me.
It is a great resource of stats that is FULL of systemic issues that we CAN do something about? The data are organized into 12 categories: Police, the War on Drugs, Prison (Mass Incarceration), Criminal Justice/Courts, Education, Employment, Wealth, Workplace, Voting, Media, and Housing.
Don’t let this information overwhelm you to the point where you can’t let it sink in as reality, but also don’t let it paralyze you into thinking you can’t do anything about it. You can.
Read, Listen, and…. then ACT. It will take a willingness and commitment to listen, compassion, involvement, time, sacrifice, creativity, deep thinking, money, political involvement, incarnational living, life on life discipleship, being pro-life not just pro-birth, doing what the bible says is true religion, and a heart of boldness and humility….and oh, it will takes years if not our whole lifetime!
But WE CAN DO SOMETHING! We must!