In this time of global sickness, we find ourselves not just dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic but another form of sickness. Racism, defined as the marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people, is a sickness in its own right and affects us differently depending on where we live, the color of our skin and our life experiences.
Many people of color have been aware and experienced the effects of racism from the time they could remember, as they were taught to be careful of how they interacted with others in authority or with white people in general. If this was not your experience, pause for a moment to think about what that would be like. Generally speaking, white people do not think like that, and haven’t needed to because their motives are not questioned, people don’t assume the worst or aren’t afraid of them because of the color of their skin or their cultural differences. This unfortunately has not been the experience of many people of color.
Well intentioned white people tend to think of themselves as not being racists without realizing that their experience is shaded by the fact that they have lived in white privilege. If you don’t know another experience, you likely don’t even realize the benefits you are given without any effort on your part.
We are all human beings, we come from many backgrounds; we are people with rich experience and worth! We need to look and see what structures we have in place that are blocking people from being welcomed and bringing their full selves to the table.
We take this time to lift up our prayers to help us to truly SEE other another.
God of all, help us to work together so that each feels as valued as the next, regardless of skin color. We don’t wish to be color blind, but colorful; help us to learn about and celebrate each other’s experiences, create opportunities to learn from each other and to recognize the worth of each person’s culture, experience and contributions so that we may be better vessels for you.