Who are we?
If white is a merely the pigmentation of the skin it needs no defending
A friend shared how he is hosting a workshop on ‘whiteness’ within his faith community and how not all were receptive. It made me think what is it that makes some of us white folk defensive when we hear words such as whiteness, white privilege, white supremacy within a context of dealing with the negative impact of it?
Again it draws me back to Northern Ireland where I identified as a Northern Irish Prod. Every time I felt we were under attack I rose to our defence. Now here in the context in which I live I am more conscious that I am white and in the current level of awareness I like most others am trying to work out what does that mean and what I need to do.
I can feel the defensiveness arise in me too but then as I contemplated in my soul I heard that my identity is not in whiteness nor even Northern Irish Prodness my identity is spiritual albeit wrapped in human guise. I have no need to defend whiteness. Where there are wrongs we must address them and dismantle the beliefs, the systems that have upheld them and reinforced them.
I must free myself from attachments that are not my true identity which is spiritual.
My identity is revealed in my Master who identified with those fellow humans who when they grieved he grieved with them, when they were hungry he fed them, when they were distressed he healed them. Our identity is with those universal traits that make us humans. We need no other and we need not oppress others as our vision is to simply take our place in ‘the brotherhood (humanhood) of man (all people)’.