I was in an interesting discussion regarding White Privilege and what to do about it. I refuse to feel guilty. I hate injustice. That said I have had a night to think about it... and have two cents to offer. The issues revealed in Ferguson MO are more complex than we understand. Revelations about the shooter and the shot are helping to flesh out the reality of that moment. Silence is our enemy. Read on, we must speak up:
When abuse takes place, ie a car full of black men are stopped and frisked for no reason, SHAME must be placed on the abusers. We now have media we didn't have in 1965 when many of us because active. We can place names and faces in public and say THIS IS WRONG. I don't see that now. An onslaught of public shaming of abuse from police and officials will help turn this silence around. A public showing of names and faces of the abusers will bring justice.
In the same vein, Silence must cease in the community. Fearless outing of evil influences will bring a halt to the things that create suspicion. If snitches get stitches then stitches should be the mark of a red badge of courage. Silence when people are shot on the street has to be stopped. Speaking up and not only shaming but stopping further sanctions of miscreant action is the only way to clean out the clutter of lawless behavior that colors the whole community.
Those of us who are skin color privileged must find ways to help increase privilege of those who are not yet privileged because of ethnic heritage (including colors). My trying to reduce any privilege for me brings no one else's up. I can honor and partner with those who need hope and a leg up. That doesn't include any government programs, money or "restitution". A rejection of any sniff of victim hood has to be a first step in turning this around.
Wisdom in a cause celeb must be made. Not every police action is abuse, some are, some are simply a cop doing what he gets paid for. Be careful not to find yourself on a bandwagon pulled by people who profit by division of people. There are many. They are easily identified. You will only rise as far as those to whom you submit yourself.. and some of those men are a step way down. They will keep you in the trap they set. Lies and deception. We have had a few of these over the years. Truth is your friend.
Overlooking lawlessness because of racial issues reduces the potential to neutralizing white privilege. I keep posting videos of looters. I keep asking, people know who these people are. They are obvious. Yet no one comes forward to say, "That's so and so". They are operating from FEAR. Fear of rejection. You can't expect to have bold results if you are not bold. As long as lawless behavior is accepted lawless behavior will persist. That is not in my hands as a white man. These flash mobs in Chicagoland over the last few years are clear. They are made up of clear identity... yet nothing happens. The Ferguson Riot Looting without comment is troubling.
We must begin to help the generations to come find ways to develop the privilege they need to have to live better and with less fear. That means less sports and more skills. More ethics and less Ethos (accepted cultural norms). Better family formation and less fornication without consequence for the boys/men. We need to have dads dig out the shotguns. Sex before marriage has been a norm since ever, but with abortion, getting married is optional. It's not just about teaching them about Jesus, that's good, even critical, but you can know all about the word of God and still miss it. Look at the good Godly men and women who simply because of skin color are held in suspicion. Rise above.
Excellence is the answer. A generation ago there used to be a women's rights movement. They had to learn to do everything a man could do but twice as good. I would tell you that they succeeded. I won't point to all the statistics. The same applies. Whatever anyone who ascribes to bringing up the whole must be more excellent in all things. I hate to admit this but I give Hispanic privilege to ones who apply to work for me. They are more excellent than any other cultural group. Is that type casting? Yes.. but the culture exudes excellence in my field.
This must come from the people in the community. IF once we can get outside of ourselves and begin to ask the question, WHY. and then WHY. and then WHY until we get to the core issues we will be trapped in a victim mentality that we will pass on to our children. The cultural failures and core issues must be dealt with. If not your children will be followed around Wal Mart 40 years from now. Change must come form the inside out. We know that spiritually. It's true culturally. No one can do it for us. We must do it ourselves.
I see a better day when men women girls and boys ARE judged by the color of our skin because it represents our collective character. With MLK I disagree in this. Look at how orientals are treated in business (desirable). Look at how Hispanics are treated in food service, agriculture (desirable). How Indian folks are respected in medicine. I believe that when that day comes and it can if we tackle it now, when a person of color shows up in Wal Mart the Greeter smiles widely and says WELCOME and means it. When a person of color shows up at a job interview people perk up and say how can we get this guy (or gal). It can happen. It happens in other cultures on the planet. Why not here is the real question. We can't do anything about the color of our skin, but we can do something about the culture that imputes privilege or a lack thereof to us. It starts with the guy in the mirror.
We receive what we allow to be sanctioned in our lives. Stop sanctioning those cultural degradations that demean. Silence is sanction.