White Privilege: Accountability in Action

{“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the cause of the widow.” – Isaiah 1: 17}

Welcome! 

I’d like to start this off by saying to my Black brothers and sisters: I am incredibly sorry for the way this country and this world have treated you. You are SEEN. You are HEARD. You are VALUED. You are LOVED.  

To my White brothers and sisters, this is not an attack, but a call to action.  We HAVE to do better.  Not just for our future, but for our present.  We MUST be open to changing our minds and hearts after learning new information.  It HAS to be okay in order to create real change in our world. 

I’m currently sitting on the floor of my mom’s office, wearing a sweatshirt that reads ‘Empathy, Always’, trying to organize my thoughts for this post.  I struggled with whether or not I should even write on the racism, division, and hate that is filling our country right now. I am angry, I am heartbroken, I am scared. And those emotions will NEVER compare to those that my Black brothers and sisters experience daily. I realize that I CANNOT call myself a follower of Jesus Christ and not let Love lead me and I must use Empathy, Always.  I don’t know if what I say will be fully correct and I know not everyone will agree or like what I have to say. It is ALL coming from a place of love and accountability.  If you do disagree with anything in here and would like to have a respectful conversation, my comments, Contact Me section, and Instagram DMs are open and safe. 

I have lived about 20 minutes away from our nation’s Capitol pretty much my whole life, and because of that, I feel as though I have been able to experience monumental events very differently than those elsewhere in the country.  My first distinct memory of discussing the mass injustices TODAY that people of color, especially those who are Black face, in America was when Trayvon Martin was killed by a hate-filled, privileged man.  Here I was, naive enough to believe that MLK Jr and the civil rights movement of the 1960s had really eradicated the inequalities for POC in the United States.  I am truthfully so ashamed that I was not better educated.  I am ashamed of myself and of the public school system for failing me as well by white washing our history.  I pray that in the future we can teach our children a history that is not white washed or rose-colored, but real.  Of course I knew that racism was still alive and active because of the horrid things people would say and write about President Obama and the First Family.  I just didn’t realize how much it still affects the way in which POC live their lives in the United States still today.  

{“No one is born hating another person because of the color of [their] skin, or [their] background, or [their] religion.  People must be taught to hate, and if they can be taught to hate they can be taught to love.” – Nelson Mandela}

Just as we are taught to ride a bike, say our ABCs, and brush our teeth, we are taught either to hate or to love. We are taught either to stay complacent or stand up for change.  We are taught cowardice or bravery. We are taught division or unity. Today and every day from here on after, I am choosing the latter. I pray you choose to do so, too.

I cannot speak on the experiences of anyone besides myself, but I can encourage others to tell their stories by creating a safe space, a place without judgement.  However, as a person who holds privilege in this society because of the color of her skin, I CAN tell you what I know about my God and how we can actively support our Black brothers and sisters in this time of inequality.  There is no way I will be able to say everything I want to say in this post, but everything said is important.  I encourage you to share this with others so that they can start taking accountability for their privilege as well. 

{“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change.  I am changing the things I cannot accept.”               – Angela F. Davis}

My beliefs are aligned with those of my church, where we as Christians are called to love our neighbors wholeheartedly so that they may know Jesus. God gives every single one of us many different gifts, and it happens that one of mine is writing and having a platform to share what God puts on my heart with others. 

The Jesus that I know and have an intimate relationship with is about unity, love, and standing up for the oppressed and the outcasts.  He ate with sinners, but even more than that, He HEALED them.  I know this to be true, because He heals me every single day.  I strive to live a life like His, and I fall short each day, but I am actively trying to do better.  While I don’t have hundreds of verses memorized, I do have the way in which Jesus lived and calls Christians to live ingrained in my soul.  He calls us to love, encourage, and serve one another.  I know that I would not be doing right by my God if I did not speak out on the racist acts in this country and encourage my fellow brothers and sisters to educate themselves and give them stepping stones to do so.  Racism is a matter of ignorant minds and callous hearts.  Only God can change hearts, it is up to us to change everything else. 

{“All lives matter. No kidding. That’s why we’re saying BLACK LIVES MATTER, cause until all lives matter, EQUALLY, we need to focus on this!” – Carl Lentz}

Being safe inside during this pandemic means that I have had ample time to scroll on social media, and within the past few days, I have been using it to educate myself.   I have also had the time to truly listen to the stories of my friends who are not white.  These experiences have been truly eye-opening.  I wish more than anything I wasn’t saying that statement at 22, but it’s true.  I encourage every single person who is interested in becoming an ally (I really want it to be every human on this planet one day) to reach out to your friends and really listen.  Listen out of compassion and ally ship – without judgement.  Truly empathize with their experiences.  We will NEVER know the depth of the atrocities others have faced, but we can actively work to create a better future. 

After speaking with my friends and researching, I’d like to share a few ways that we, as allies can invoke change:

  1. Openly educate ourselves!
  2. Continue being an ally when the news cycle changes
  3. Remember that being an ally is NOT about us and work we have to continually do
  4. Pay attention to our white experiences and actively do better
  5. Truly listen to Black stories and experiences out of compassion and being an ally
  6. Be aware of our own biases
  7. Create a safe space so that those who are silenced can finally share their stories
  8. Hold ourselves and others accountable, even if we feel scared  (those subtly racist remarks are NEVER okay)
  9. Realize that we can’t do this alone; there is strength in numbers
  10. Act and react in love

It is NOT ENOUGH to not be racist, we have to be ACTIVELY anti-racist. We CAN’T be afraid to have Honest and OPEN discussions with people of color.   It is not up to Black people and other POC to teach us how to do better.  We have to initiate the change within ourselves.  From my 22 years on this earth, if I have learned one thing it is that true change and growth only happens when I venture outside of my comfort zone. I hope you will join me in this journey. 

A few helpful websites: 

https://guidetoallyship.com

https://goodgoodgood.co/anti-racism-resources

https://racialequitytools.org 

https://aclu.org/issues/racial-justice 

{ “When you are confident about Jesus’ ultimate victory over evil, it gives you the boldness to confront evil today.” – Rod Stafford}

To my fellow Christians, “Christ and racism don’t mix. You can’t say you love God and hate His creation. You can’t say you love God and ignore when people are killing His people.”  We have to love everyone, always. It is one of the MOST challenging, if not THE most, challenging parts of my walk with Jesus. However, it is what we are called to do, whether or not we agree with our neighbors.

If you are looking for Bible verses I suggest starting with these: 1 John 4:20-21, Isaiah 1:17, Genesis 1:26, John 16:33, Isaiah 10:1-2, Ephesians 6:11-12, Romans 12:9, 1 Peter 3:8, Galatians 3:26-28 Romans 12:17, 1 Peter 4:8, Colossians 3:13-14, and John 17:20-23.

For those who argue that Jesus wouldn’t be protesting right now, I invite you to re-read the Cleansing of the Temple story.  Jesus saw that people were disobeying God, and He took action from his frustration.  Jesus is God, and God took on human form, which included human emotions like anger and frustration.  Our God is a God of love, but He is also a JUST God and a VENGEFUL God.  We need to pray for everyone, but we are also called to fight evil, to fight the enemy because Jesus already won the war on the cross.  We are called to be BOLD. Let that marinate for a minute for all who believe that protests aren’t a Godly act.  If you do choose to protest, be smart about it.  They are quickly turning to anarchy and looting, which is dangerous and unhelpful.  Go to organized, peaceful events.  Speak up when you notice those around you supporting hateful speech and actions.  Do so in love and with respect, not with malice.  I’ve learned that others tend to ignore me when I approach situations from a place of attack and spite, but they are more willing to listen if I come into the conversation with love and peace. 

If you are unable to protest because of the pandemic, some other actions you can take to support others include: 

  1. Donate (https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019)
  2. Text justice lines ( Text “FLOYD” to 55156)
  3. Sign petitions (https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd)
  4. Vote (in ALL elections: local, state, and federal)
  5. Support Black owned businesses! (https://www.supportblackowned.com)
  6. Use your voice!

I know there are going to be questions about this, and if it’s not addressed, it would be a disservice. We know  there are obviously good police officers, because officers are people under their uniforms.  They are marching with us and educating themselves too.  This is not what this post is about.  There are not enough good ones.  We need to start the change within ourselves, in our own hearts, our own homes, and our own communities to give power to those who will respect it. 

{“I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or do that, but now I pray that He will guide me to do whatever I’m supposed to do, what I can do.  I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength.  I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we can change things.” – Mother Teresa}

 We cannot continue to support a society that abuses God’s chosen people, because guess what? If you truly call yourself a follower of Jesus, you would understand that every single person on this planet is a child of God.  Yes, all lives matter, but all lives CAN’T matter until Black lives do.  A simple, but incredible way of explaining BLM from preacher Michal Pittman is this: “Saying “all lives matter” as a response to “Black Lives Matter” is like saying the fire department should spray down all of the houses in the neighborhood – even though only one house is on fire… because all houses matter.  Yes. Your house matters too.  But your house isn’t on fire.” As Christians, we are called to support all lives that are being stifled.  I believe now especially is the time to fight with our Black brothers and sisters in this country.  We have been given a position to do so as the country is focused on this movement.  Of course there are still other battles to be fought in this war, and the time to do so will come (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8).  The time for change regarding racial disparity in America, and the world,  is NOW.  Trust me when I say there is ample time to fight all of our other battles.  Luckily for us, Jesus won the war.  We have to continue to be bold in fighting the enemy  until He comes again.  

This time I’m not asking you how you will take action, I am simply asking you when.  When will you decide enough is enough? I pray that moment is now. 

**A quick thank you to everyone who helped me write this! Many different voices contributed to this post: ethnicities, faiths, genders, education levels, and more.  It is a post written by us, because this is a change that is going to come from us**

3 thoughts on “White Privilege: Accountability in Action

  1. Thank you so much for writing this, Nadine, and for being a voice for hope, truth and love. “greater love has no man that he who would lay down his life for those he loves” (John 15:13) … As Christians, we need to ask ourselves; “who would I lay your life down for?”
    If we follow Jesus commandment to love God, and love others… To love our neighbours (remember the story of the good Samaritan?)… There we have the answer.

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