I see myself in this statement: “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression. (It’s not).” People of color do not share access to the advantages of white-privileged life. Though I never participated in enslaving people, I have benefited from and continue to enable racist systems and ideas that cause harm to people of color.
In Matthew 15:21-28, 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 listen, recognize, and acknowledge the need to reset our table of privilege to include people of color. Even more, white siblings, what would it look like to use the power of our privilege to rebuild the table and systems to ensure a welcoming space for all?
This message is excerpted from “Understanding the impact of white privilege and supremacy” by Becky Shurson from the March 28, 2022, blog of the Women of the ELCA. Today we commemorate Jonathan Edwards, teacher, missionary to American Indians, 1758.
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