My white privileges—the advantages not available to people of color—are so much a part of life that I must search to even see them. Though I never participated in enslaving people, there is no doubt for me that I have benefited from and continue to enable racist systems and ideas that cause harm to people of color.
In Matthew 15:21-28, I see an analogy to our world: A woman screams for Jesus’ help for her demonized daughter. The disciples want to send her away, but Jesus talks with her, telling her that helping her would be like taking food from children and unfairly throwing it to the dogs. She reminds Jesus that even the dogs get the crumbs that fall from the table.
I wonder what it would look like for white people to finally listen, recognize, and acknowledge the need to re-set our table of privilege to include people of color. Even more, white siblings, what would it look like to use our privilege to rebuild the table and systems to ensure a welcoming space for all?
This message is excerpted from “Session 4: Understanding the impact of white privilege and supremacy” by Becky Shurson from the March 28, 2022, blog of the Women of the ELCA.
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