Each day I walk around in white skin enjoying the safety and privilege that entails. I did nothing to earn this, but I have benefited from it from the moment I was born. Those I love the deepest, my husband and daughters, are the most beautiful of black.
One day my grandchildren will be black. Beautiful babies I hope are free to be loud, creative and messy. I want my curly haired grandkids to be safe to make mistakes they can learn from. I want them to never question their skin is anything but divine.
Sometimes I whisper to myself, “Please let those who meet my family not be afraid. Please let my husband and daughters never cross paths with those whose animosity runs so deep they would feel justified leaving them bloodied and bruised.”
Many, I know, are weary of hearing about race. It makes us uncomfortable and a natural response is to distance ourselves from discomfort. Well meaning people say, “I see people, not color.” or “Slavery was so long ago, we need to move on.” Privilege allows us to tune out racism that exists today. It doesn’t go away just because we close our eyes.
Hate, unlike clouds, does not dissipate. Instead it takes root, festers and grows. It slinks to darkened corners and waits with its friend denial. Hate and ambivalence are passed in shameful legacy from generation to generation.
Recently I have been disappointed by some whose claims of Christianity and respect for all don’t match up with their action or inaction. You can’t love my family and also turn a blind eye to words and actions that make us less safe.
As white people I invite you to listen to and believe what people of color are telling us about our society. I invite you to learn about systemic racism and microaggressions. Racism is much more than KKK marches or violent videos showing up on our newsfeeds. I invite you to move beyond guilt or feeling powerless. I am not an expert. I too am trying to learn and do better.
I invite you to consider what it would be like to live in a world where no mother or father need fear for the safety of their child because of the color of skin they are wrapped in.
4 thoughts on “My White Skin”
As usual, I am humbled by your words. Thank you for sharing them. Katie G.
Thanks Katie. It is interesting times we are living in. Hope you and the family are well.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. Love you.
I love this. It is up to us as white people to do whatever we can to eliminate racism. We can’t expect to victims of racism to do all the heavy lifting. I love the football players who take a knee but it really bugs me that they are almost exclusively black. White players kneeling would be pretty powerful too.