I am in the middle of writing a paper that's addressing white privilege in the church. To do this I am reading a book by Tim Wise (the book is White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son) who is a leading spokesman on "whiteness" in the secular world of academia. The voice from the church will be Being White by Paula Harris and Doug Schaupp. Doug Schaupp was my mentor and supervisor while I was on InterVarsity staff.
Tim Wise today's reading and I alway get so excited about quotes, so instead of changing my Facebook status every couple of minutes, I thought I would leave my favorite quotes from the day in a blog post. Thanks blog world for being my sounding board!
Chapter: Born to Belonging
In 1977, when my third grade teacher would encourage the students to trace our family trees...it was apparent that the white kids, who could go back much further and with less pain than the black kids, had gained a sense of pride, even "rootedness", as a result. p. 5
Genealogy itself is something of a privilege... p. 5
A work ethic is rarely, if ever, enough on its own to make the difference. After all, there had been millions of black folks with work ethics...millions of peoples of color had lived and toiled in this land, typically for far longer than [his ancestor who frist immigrated to the United States], and yet with few exceptions, they could not say that within a mere decade they had become successful shop owners, or that one of their sons had gone on to graduate from one of the nation's finest colleges. [All things this man had done or could say.] p. 10-11
His very arrival in the Untied States was nonetheless made possible by immigration policies that at that moment (and for most of our nation's history) have favored those from Europe over those from anywhere else. p.11
The upshot of all this is simple: I am where I am today, doing what I am doing today, in large part because I was born white. p. 16
It doesn't matter that today's whites never owned slaves, never killed any Indians, and never stole land form Mexico. We are here now, and so are the black and brown descendants of those persons of color whose ability to accumulate assets, professional credentials, education, and homes, was restricted for so long. p. 16