Turns Out W-w Isn't Sufficient

Matt Chandler implicitly challenges the powerful work of taking every thought captive:

The challenge with white privilege is that most white people cannot see it. We assume that the experiences and opportunities afforded to us are the same afforded to others. Sadly, this simply isn’t true. Privileged people can fall into the trap of universalizing experiences and laying them across other people’s experiences as an interpretive lens. For instance, a privileged person may not understand why anyone would mistrust a public servant simply because they have never had a viable reason to mistrust a public servant. The list goes on.

What is so deceptive about white privilege is that it is different from blatant racism or bias. A privileged person’s heart may be free from racist thoughts or biased attitudes, but may still fail to see how the very privilege afforded to him or her shapes how he or she interprets and understands the situations and circumstances of people without privilege.

Well, actually, if you’ve seen any television show in the last five decades, not to mention the beloved The Wire, you have plenty of reasons for knowing about the mistrust that some people experience when encountering a public servant. Heck, if you’ve watched a single Coen Brothers’ movie, you can’t but help encounter the mixed motives that course through most people who don’t think they have had a lobotomy just because Jesus is in their heart. Double heck, if you went to Temple University and dealt with “public servants” in the Bursar’s Office, you don’t need to be black to mistrust people who work for the state.

But I do wonder why people with white privilege need to change more than to be pitied. Maybe people with white privilege are simply under bondage and can’t change. Why don’t they receive any empathy? Or why does Chandler expect some people to overcome their blinders but not others? Is it another form of white privilege to think that whites have the capacity to change or lead it?

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9 thoughts on “Turns Out W-w Isn't Sufficient

  1. I understand people who do not read or interact with others outside of their own racial group who are unable to change. But I’m afraid that I do understand why people stay exclusively in their own groups. We should note that such people are also unable to help carry out the Great Commission.

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  2. @ Curt Day: “We should note that such people are also unable to help carry out the Great Commission.”

    ?

    Now, the Great Commission was given to the Church as a whole, not to individual believers as such, since individual believers of course aren’t able to baptize, the Church does that.

    But individual believers surely can be part of the process, in witnessing to those around them by how they live their lives. In which case, wouldn’t both those who tend to keep to their own kind and those who stretch themselves a bit further equally be of use to the Lord, in witnessing to those they are around, and thus both be helping further the Great Commission? It’s just that their spheres may be different, but surely one is no less worthy than the other, esp. with many heathens amongst our own racial groups, in need of the Gospel just as much as outsiders…

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  3. My goal for the new year is not to change.
    Because change tends to be for the worse.

    Look at the picture on your driver’s permit.

    I am so grateful that the gospel is not about us being the change, or even about how grace changes us,

    Romans 4—David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
    and whose sins are covered;
    8 blessed are those against whom the Lord will not count sin

    I Corinthians 15: 51 We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

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