I wish it weren't. How I wish it weren't.
As I watched events unfold in Charlottesville this weekend, with friends there attacked because they stand against hatred and violence, I wished it weren't.
I wish that what I believed as a child in the 70s was true – that the Civil Rights Movement had brought equality for all. But the justice of the law is no more just than those who enforce it. And as important as the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement were, there is so much they did not and could not do.
White Supremacy is very much alive, and it's my problem, no matter how much I wish otherwise.
It's my problem.
Every time I've assumed the black woman sitting next to me on the train feels as safe in that space as I do.
Every time I effectively dismissed racism as a "sin problem" that can only be dealt with in individuals' hearts.
Every time I think I've had opportunities only because I worked for them.
Every time I sat in church believing we weren't perpetuating racism because a few black families were there who embraced our theology.
Every time I haven't thought about White Supremacy because I didn't have to, and I had other things to think about.
Every time I believed a person of color was being considered for a job on the same basis I was.
Every time I assumed that a fellow student of color had the same opportunities I had because we were sitting in the same class.
Every time I dismissed White Supremacists as an anomaly, as a fringe element, rather than seeing them as the most visible outworking of a pervasive system, a system I am a part of.
Every time I didn't speak up when someone excused or dismissed white supremacy as something that isn't their problem, or insisted that black resistance is an "equal" problem.
Every time I failed to realize that black friends don't have the same experiences I do when they drive somewhere, or shopping, or taking taxis, or with the police, or doing any one of the many public errands that make up my days.
Every time I was more concerned with protecting me and mine than ensuring justice and safety for someone else.
Ever time I studied "Christian" history and theology without questioning its Eurocentric assumptions and role in establishing the Doctrine of Discovery.
Every time I've avoided speaking up against the assumptions of white supremacy because it might make someone uncomfortable.
I don't believe in white supremacy, but I don't have to believe in it to be a part of it. And if a white supremacist is someone who does believe in it, then I am not a white supremacist. But every time I have acted like white supremacy is not my problem, I'm sure you couldn't tell the difference.
I'm sorry for every time that's happened. I know more than I used to, but I have so much more to learn. I fail in ways I can barely begin to imagine. I will keep working on it, and this is one way to take a step forward.
White supremacy is my problem.
And if you are white, it's your problem, too.