Ten Reasons Why I’m Paying Attention to Issues of Race

racism-11. Whites have robbed African-Americans of hundreds, if not thousands, of years of their own humanity through the slave trade, treating them as subhuman pieces of property.

2. I perpetuate systemic racism every day by conforming, even in the smallest way, to societal attitudes and myths regarding African-Americans, as well as Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, and Native-Americans.

3.  Racism is still very much alive today, though, as a person of privilege, I have been taught to either ignore it or justify it using race neutral terms or promoting American society as a meritocracy, rather than still suffering from this cultural ill.

4.  Though institutions such as Jim Crow have ended, the issue of mass incarceration, as escalated by the so-called “War on Drugs” functions very much as a racial caste system meant to keep African-Americans in their place, promoted by white and black politicians wanting to be perceived as “tough on crime” and “promoting law and order.”

5. As a white person in America, I was made to believe that the entire history of African-Americans could be summed up in one month, or at least did not deserve as much time as white history.

6. Though many would prefer to promote colorblindness as an answer to the problem of racism, I have found that ignoring the color of another person’s skin is like looking at the night sky and trying to pretend you don’t see the moon and the stars.  All of us are beautiful in our own skin; why not celebrate such a thing?

7. Though whites have deprived African-Americans of their culture, African-Americans have begun work to regain it, and it is a beautiful tapestry of history, art, and music to be shared with all people.

8. As a Christian, I have watched as segregation still exists in the church, with white people attending white churches and black people attending black churches, with little to no overlap.  The body of Christ cannot function in this way.

9. As a white Christian, I must acknowledge that neither God nor Jesus looks like me in an effort to promote a multiracial God who transcends divisions such as racism.

10. As a person of privilege, if I relinquish my position of privilege and listen to those who are underprivileged, I can learn how to better stand in solidarity with them and empower them to pursue their rights as human beings.

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