So, it turns out you’re white.
This is the question I faced over the course of the year at my new job.
And whiteness means a lot of things I didn’t understand up until now.
I’m not going to pretend for a minute like I didn’t (or don’t) feel bad for myself as I struggle with this question.
Because, at the core of it, it is a question of identity.
How do I understand and communicate my identity to the world when the very source of my identity is so rooted in American protestant whiteness? And going further back, Scandinavian protestant whiteness?
How do I hold all these truths at the same time?
I am white and privileged
I want to be anti-racist
I am racist
Holding all these truths, however contradictory they appear, is possible.
Just as all things are possible.
Very truly I tell you, I see humans as the greatest masters and representatives of contradiction.
We, none of us, exists in a state of pure truth.
We, all of us, contradict ourselves daily.
We, all of us, can be vehicles for painful, revealing, growth.
Think more on your entrance into this life - your bloody, messy, traumatically painful entrance. Your mothers screaming. Your screaming. All the voices and energy in the room. The build-up of excruciating pain and torment…
And then, there is the arrival. The handing off of the child to their mother.
The instant love and connection.
Followed by (we all hope) a lifetime of love - hard, heart-wrenching, complicated, incongruent, over-the-moon, inexhaustible, unconditional;
Do you think that’s the start of a life that was meant to be simple?
The start of a life destined solely for comfort and self satisfaction?
Or, like our entrance, is our life made to be toiled with the pain of growth… in the name of love?
...TO BE CONTINUED...
As always, I invite you to engage!
Comment, email me, whatever!