A group of members and friends of our church are in week three of a four- week sacred conversation exploring the UCC curriculum on White Privilege. As a white resident of Winchester or a nearby suburb, thinking about being white or having white privilege is likely not something you do. In our conversations, we are thinking about what being white means and learning what white privilege is. We are using the following definition.
White Privilege – a definition
A set of advantages and/or immunities white people daily benefit from beyond those common to others. White privilege can exist without white people’s conscious knowledge of its presence and helps maintain the racial hierarchy in the U.S.
-Prof. Arlene Avakian (2003)
Owning up to white privilege
One person who formerly took the course shared their experience of white privilege:
“I can expect to be trusted in stores and by people I don’t know. I have never felt “watched” as I move around a store.
I can expect to be treated with respect and personal space by the police.
I do not feel “different” from everyone around me in majority white environments.
People do not assume I’m poor. Or seem surprised that I’m not.
I have never been denied a job because of the color of my skin.
If I am standing in a public space for no apparent reason, I am more likely to be offered help than to be questioned about why I am there.
I believe we are one family and my family is being hurt and divided. I don’t know how to fix it, but owning my unconscious role in it is my first step.”
On May 3rd we opened Session 1 with the first four lines of a prayer –
When we do not see the gravity of racial injustice,
Shake us from our slumber and open our eyes.
When it becomes easier to point fingers outward,
Help us to examine our own hearts.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Kaye Nash, a member of the Racial Justice Team
Judy Arnold, Will Burhans, Sara Gallop, Jonathan Goodell, Anne Hoenicke, Jerry Mechling, Kaye Nash, Julianne Zimmerman