Just about everywhere you turn, there’s a reminder that we still have work to do. And unlike years past, we now have social media platforms at our fingertips, so we can witness as a nation the sprouting of a harvest sown long ago with seeds of hatred, oppression, corruption and greed.
And this harvest is not fruitful.
This harvest is toxic.
When we talk about privilege in America, we typically connect privilege with race and socio-economic status. But there’s a different privilege that I would like to address and that’s the privilege of wearing a veil. It’s true, there are people who go through life wearing a flowery veil that distorts their perception.
Looking through that flowery veil, you’re oblivious to the systems that are designed to disproportionately affect and oppress people of color. You’re able to craft thoughts such as, “Well, it doesn’t affect me and my family,” and sleep well at night. You’re able to raise children and never show concern for whether or not they’ll “fit the description” and never come home.
Because you have the privilege of wearing a veil.
And that veil disconnects you from humanity. That veil eventually erodes your compassion and you find yourself saying, “Racism isn’t an issue, I have several Black friends and even a friend who’s Muslim.” You’ll see this video from the Donald Trump rally in Louisville, KY and you’ll see it through your veil and say, “She shouldn’t have put herself in that situation to begin with.” When you should be saying, “That’s someone’s child,” or “Why didn’t anyone help her?”
Your veil makes you delusional and self-centered.
Because we have real issues in America. Real issues in the world. People are being treated unfairly. People are dying and justice is a fairy-tale concept. People are suffocating under the weight of trying to make ends meet earning $7.25/hr.
And you turn off the television, you sit on the couch with your arms folded and blame President Obama; you critique those who need government assistance as though you’ve never needed help before and you label all that is happening as “negativity” when it’s really someone else’s truth.
It is my truth as a woman of color. It is my truth as a lesbian. It is my truth as a sister to a black man, a daughter to a black man, a niece to black men and eventually a mother to a young black man. It is my truth. It is not negativity. It is not playing the race card. It is not inconvenient. It is the oppressed saying, “I can’t breathe,” and America throwing distractions around likes bones saying, “Boycott Beyonce because she’s a Black Panther, stand outside for hours to buy those new Jordans, watch this beef between Katt Williams and Kevin Hart…”
Meanwhile our Muslim brothers and sisters live each day not knowing if they’ll be harassed and blamed for 9/11
Privilege is so convenient. Privilege is comfortable. Privilege is dangerous. Right now we are creating the world our children will live in. Our children saw Michael Brown’s lifeless body lying in the street for hours. Our children are watching the KKK hide under their veils in protest of moving our country forward in the right direction. Our children are watching their parents make sacrifices like will we eat this week or should we pay the water bill. Our children are going missing and we’re missing the point of our existence.
Let’s start by taking our veils of privilege off…
Borrow someone else’s lens and see the world from a different perspective. Use those beautiful ears of yours to listen. Ask the questions. When I say, “I can’t breathe”, help me. When you see I am hungry, feed me, then teach me how to fish. When you see our babies dying, feel it with us, feel it as if it were your child lying on the cold pavement. Don’t pretend we’re the ones that are delusional, because you want to spray perfume on the rotten parts of America.
Stop making excuses.
Full equality for every human will not destroy America. Full equality for every human does not challenge who we know Christ to be. Stop creating barriers because change makes you uncomfortable. Stop hiding behind a book that’s only Holy when it justifies your efforts to divide.
Is this the world we really want to live in?
Is this the world we want our children to live in?
I heard it said that, “We have every single thing we need in this world except each other.” That’s true, friends. We’re seeing the results of a divisive world, imagine what could happen if we came together to rewrite the story.
It’s not too late.