I recently read “White Awake: An honest look at what it means to be white” which helped to bring much clarity to issues within our country related to race. Author Daniel Hill begins by telling his story on how he wanted to create a multi-ethnic church in Chicago. While he had good intentions, the results for diversity were abysmal. Much of his congregation was just as white as he was. In attempting to find out why he was unable to attract a multi-ethnic crowd he decided to visit with a hand full of local non-white clergy. In doing so, he was humbled to realize how little he knew about culture that impacted people of color. His mentors exposed the fact that almost every possible influence in Daniel’s life was from white culture. Daniel realized quickly that people of color have many different experiences as a minority culture in contrast to the dominate influence of white culture in America. What seems normal to most white people is not necessarily what people of color experience. All throughout our 200+ history people of color have been judged as “less than” in comparison to white culture. Daniel states that “When the journey begins to feel like any combination of scary, confusing, disorienting, or even painful, we have a privilege that people of color do not: we can walk away; we can go back to ‘normal,’ if we choose.” (p. 38)
The author then takes us on a journey to process the reality of white culture in contrast to the experiences and culture of people of color. Daniel Hill goes through the various steps of understanding as we go through encounter, denial, disorientation, shame, self-righteousness, awakening and active participation. As you go through these levels you become aware of the fact that what seems normal to white people is not the same as people of color in America. Daniel says “I don’t believe slavery ended in 1865, I believe it just evolved. It turned into decades of racial hierarchy that was violently enforced . . . through acts of racial terror.” (p. 57). While the institution of slavery was defeated, the effects and ideology continues to live on throughout American history to the present. The author articulates the importance of seeing ourselves, as well as everyone else, as image bears of God. As children of God, we are of equal and extraordinary value and we are all apart of the kingdom of God.
But we must begin with denial and recognize all the ways in which white culture has harmed people of color. We all too often sugarcoat our history and do not face up to the reality of how people of color were negatively impacted by white culture. A recent example of that is in the fact that if a person of color commits a crime against Americans it is typically labeled as terrorism. But with all the white guys committing acts of gun violence rarely is it labeled as terrorism. Instead we learn about how troubled their past must have been to commit such a crime and that they must have suffered from mental illness. Daniel hammers away in saying that “our citizens do not share a common memory. People of white European ancestry remember a history of discovery, open lands, manifest destiny, endless opportunity, and American exceptionalism. Yet communities of color, especially those with African and indigenous roots, remember a history of stolen lands, broken treaties, slavery, boarding schools, segregation, cultural genocide, internment camps, and mass incarceration.” (p. 79)
I remember my first history classes at college. My professor prided himself in telling us that he was going to expose us to the history that our parents and schools hid from us. I took a class on the American Indians and another one about African American history. Needless to say I walked out of those classes feeling shame and anger for how people of color have been treated by the dominate white culture. But in “White Awake” the author doesn’t stop with just an awakening to the truth but he moves us to feel lament in solidarity with people of color. Daniel says, “Lament gives us resources to sit in the tension of suffering and pain without going to a place of shame or self-hate. Lament allows us to acknowledge the limitations of human strength and to look solely to the power of God instead.” (p. 112)
The author then goes on to caution the reader against feeling self-righteous towards those who are not at the same level of understanding as you might be. If we fall into this trap we are as guilty as the Pharisees. Instead we need to repent when we fall into the trap of categorizing people into us vs. them.
The final chapters explain the importance of seeing ourselves as kingdom people created in the image of God. It is the kingdom of God that is at war with the powers of this dark world (Eph. 6:12) and we need to fully realize this. The hierarchies of race and categories we put ourselves in to feel superior over others is wrong, demonic and not of God. We need to see how our present culture implements these to separate and divide us. And our response needs to be to live as kingdom people knowing that we are all created in the image of God. Through Jesus we can find redemption, forgiveness and unity as kingdom people.
I highly recommend this book. It’s time we awaken to the ways in which our history and culture has divided us from people of color. We need to step out of our white superiority and live into the kingdom of God with all people. We need to acknowledge how sin has divided us, and through repentance and reconciliation, we can find true restoration as kingdom people.
One thought on “Being White in America”
“I highly recommend this book. It’s time we awaken to the ways in which our history and culture has divided us from people of color. We need to step out of our white superiority and live into the kingdom of God with all people.”
Regarding the concept of White Superiority.
With all respect and sincerity, I would like to learn why YOU, as well as significant numbers of my responsible, caring, American neighbors concerned about the WELL BEING and HEALTH of our Nation, are comfortable IGNORING America’s current *CHILD CARE* PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS, aka America’s potentially life scarring SYSTEMIC & GENERATIONAL Culture of Black or African American Child Abuse, Emotional Neglect and Maltreatment that evolved from America’s multi-generational, ignorant, once legal Culture of Racism!
I am referring to a Culture of Child Abuse, Emotional Neglect, Abandonment and Maltreatment responsible for popular American urban story-TRUTH-tellers and ‘Childhood Trauma’ (#ACEs) victims the late Tupac Shakur (born 1971) and Mr. Barack “My Brother’s Keeper” Obama White House guest and friend Kendrick Lamar (born 1987) vividly describing in their American art and interviews the “T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E.” and “Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City” Child Abuse Cultures prevalent in far too many American communities.
I am referring to a Culture of Systemic and Generational CHILD ABUSE that THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, deprived Tupac and Kendrick, their childhood friends, as well as many of their elementary and JHS classmates from experiencing a SAFE, fairly or wonderfully happy American kid childhood.
Sadly, the traumatic, potentially life-scarring Criminal Child Abuse and Emotional Abandonment each of these men speaks about experiencing during a critical period of human/childhood development, resulted with them maturing into emotionally ill adults revealing in public they’ve been experiencing acute depression as well as Suic*dal Thoughts for most of their lives.
The same Culture of African American Child Abuse, Neglect and Maltreatment that for more than 30 years has been inspiring significant numbers of popular urban story-TRUTH-tellers to compose and promote American music art HATEFULLY informing our world that American girls, women and MOTHERS of African descent should be viewed as less than human *itches, *hores, ‘hoes’ or “THOTS” unworthy of being treated with basic human respect. (THOT = “That Hoe Over There”)
Unfortunately, it’s plainly evident Kendrick, Tupac as well as untold numbers of American children are being raised, nurtured and socialized by moms experiencing some type of illness preventing and impeding them from embracing and following their innate, natural maternal instinct to protect their child or children from harm.
Perhaps I’m wrong but *something* is preventing significant numbers of black or American moms of African descent from recognizing that placing ABOVE ALL ELSE the emotional well being of our Nation’s most precious and cherished assets, will most likely result with a fairly or wonderfully happy child maturing into a reasonably responsible teen and adult citizen caring about their own well being (*May 18, 2015 – Rise in Suic!de by Black Children Surprises Researchers – The New York Times*), as well as embracing compassion, empathy and respect for their peaceful or less fortunate neighbors.
How many of my American neighbors are familiar with the late ‘Childhood Trauma’ (#ACEs) victim Tupac Shakur’s (often misinterpreted) #T_H_U_G_L_I_F_E Child Abuse, Emotional Neglect, Abandonment and Maltreatment *AWARENESS-PREVENTION* concept:
“The Hate U Give Little Infants Fvvks *EVERYONE*” ~Tupac Shakur
“We need more people who care; you know what I’m saying? We need more women, mothers, fathers, we need more of that…” ~Tupac Shakur
Does the late American urban story-TRUTH-teller and ‘Childhood Trauma’ (#ACEs) victim Tupac Shakur offer a reasonable explanation for why significant numbers of American children are being impeded, hampered or prevented from maturing into reasonably responsible, well-adjusted American teens and adults who become doctors, scientists, engineers, educators, business owners or leaders?
Does Tupac offer a reasonable explanation for why Americans of African descent are being impeded from experiencing the equality and respect all peaceful, reasonably responsible Americans are entitled to enjoy?
Tupac, an admitted emotionally ill adult who loudly spoke about experiencing childhood abuse and maltreatment during a critical period of human/childhood development, intelligently recognized not only are American kids being UNJUSTLY OPPRESSED, IMPEDED and DEPRIVED from experiencing their full human potential, as well as a SAFE, fairly or wonderfully happy American kid childhood…
…Tupac realized OUR NATION is being deprived of enjoying the potential achievements offered to ALL Americans by fairly or wonderfully happy kids maturing into reasonably responsible teens and adults caring about the future of OUR Nation, and the welfare of their peaceful, as well as less fortunate neighbors.
I believe Tupac correctly recognized Americans need to change the name of our “War On Poverty”, to “America’s Firm Resolve to End Childhood Abuse, Emotional Neglect and Maltreatment.”
Unlike Mr. Barack “My Brother’s Keeper” Obama and his presidential predecessors, I am hopeful Renegade Republican Donald Trump will take meaningful ACTION to protect from harm our Nation’s most precious and cherished assets by placing an emphasis on EDUCATION about proper child care, as well as stepping up enforcement of Child Safety & Protection laws which will eventually lead to fewer depressed, unhappy, emotionally neglected/abandoned American kids…
…maturing into angry, frustrated teens and young adults full or half full of rage and resentment for irresponsibly being introduced to an emotionally and/or physically abusive childhood fraught with pain, struggles, torment, uncertainty, frustration, FEAR, demeaning government handouts, resentment, depression, sorrow, sadness, disappointment and hardships. :Childhood Trauma!:
Unfortunately, before he gained the confidence to properly promote his #T_H_U_G_L_I_F_E Child Abuse *AWARENESS* concept, Tupac was brutally murdered by OTHER emotionally or mentally ill victims of America’s Culture of African American Child Abuse, Neglect and Emotional Maltreatment evolving from America’s multi-generational, ignorant, once legal Culture of Racism!!!
Not only I am asking Mr. Trump to take meaningful ACTION protecting and preventing American kids from experiencing a potentially life-scarring, traumatic childhood…
…I am asking my American neighbors to RECOGNIZE and embrace the fact our imperfect human species will continue evolving, learning day by day about our human condition and physical world, slowly shedding our human ignorance and adapting as we continue plodding along trying to improve the Quality of Life for all human beings!
My friends, during the 80s-90s I spent the first twelve years of my police career as a Brooklyn, NY cop, robbery and death investigator regularly witnessing significant numbers of newborns, infants, toddlers, children and teens, through no fault of their own experiencing a potentially life-scarring medical Disease/Condition known to medical doctors and researchers as “Childhood Trauma.”
“Childhood Trauma” is a REAL Disease/Condition affecting far too many American kids and teens who far too often develop into emotionally damaged teens and adults lacking empathy, compassion and respect for their peaceful neighbors because they believe their lives suck so why shouldn’t other people’s lives suck too!!!
I write about and share evidence of America’s MUCH IGNORED, oppressive, potentially life scarring black or African American *MATERNAL CHILD CARE* #T_H_U_G_L_I_F_E NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS that I, as well as a growing number of my reasonably responsible, caring, concerned American and foreign born neighbors believe is impeding our black or American neighbors of African descent from experiencing the equality and respect all peaceful, reasonably responsible Americans are entitled to enjoy.
“The Hate U Give Little Infants Fvvks *EVERYONE”* ~Tupac Shakur
“We need more people who care; you know what I’m saying? We need more women, mothers, fathers, we need more of that…” ~Tupac Shakur
Unfortunately, before he developed the confidence to properly promote his #THUGLIFE Child Abuse *AWARENESS* concept, Tupac was brutally murdered by OTHER emotionally or mentally ill victims (*May 18, 2015 – Rise in Suic!de by Black Children Surprises Researchers – The New York Times*) of America’s Culture of African American Child Abuse, Neglect and Emotional Maltreatment evolving from America’s multi-generational, ignorant, once legal Culture of Racism.
Much like Tupac I’m sorry to pick on moms, though since ancient times they are the primary caregivers we look to keep our young minds feeling SAFE, protected, cared for and loved right from our start.
In her own way, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, M.D., pediatrician and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness, joins the late American urban story-TRUTH-teller Tupac Shakur, an admitted depressed, suic!dal thinking – THROUGH NO FAULT OF HIS OWN Childhood Trauma victim – in PASSIONATELY speaking about the relationship between Adverse Childhood Experiences (#ACEs), aka *Childhood Trauma*, and later-life health and well being.
“How ‘Childhood Trauma’ affects health across a lifetime” – Pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, M.D.
“I agree that SINGLE MOTHERS are DESTROYING their sons.” ~Neko Cheri
“BLACK MOTHERS CORRUPTING THEIR DAUGHTER’S” ~LadyMocha
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8sT_g9yRmQ (to bypass Lady Mocha’s introduction skip to 7:59)
“How black Women sabotage their sons” – Polaris Law
“How Black Community’s Ignorance of Mental Illness Almost Killed Me” ~Polaris Law
If you watch both Polaris Law video broadcasts and do not want to offer him a hug or hand shake, accompanied by kind words praising, as well as thanking Polaris for showing his strength and imparting his hard earned wisdom, you may need to take a long look in the mirror.
“‘Pro-Black American’ Logic Succinctly Explained By Social Commentator Mr. David Carroll”
YouTube Search Terms: ‘Exposing ‘Pro Black’ Modus Operandi, Logic, Fvvkery, Savagery, White Supremacy’ ~Mrs. Princella Clark-Carr
American *(Children’s)* Lives Matter; Take Pride In Parenting; End Our National Health Crisis; Child Abuse and Neglect; End Community Violence/Fear, Police Anxiety & Educator’s Frustrations
Tagged: #Parenting, #ACEs, #ChildAbuse, #MedicalDisease, #ChildhoodTrauma, #ChildMaltreatment, #MentalHealth, #FatherlessBoys, #FatherlessGirls, #FatherlessTeens, #FatherlessAdults, #Sadness, #Resentment, #T_H_U_G_L_I_F_E >>>REMEDY>>> #A_F_R_E_C_A_N
*”America’s Firm Resolve to End Childhood Abuse and Neglect”*