Secular progressives have no framework for understanding how white privilege can be a providential asset. What progressives are left to do is shame the beneficiaries of race & class privilege to reduce the impact of their privilege and to assuage their white guilt.

White privilege is something to be owned and embraced as a potential good because it can be leveraged in ways that bring wide spread change for the sake of justice. In fact, properly leveraging white privilege in influential spaces my be a much more effective means of advocating for justice than selling your possessions, joining a non-profit, and moving into an inner-city neighborhood (and gentrifying it).

This may be why you have white privilege.  Why not use it to help people instead of using it for your own comfort, ease of life, and material wealth (the American Dream)? Being the mayor of your town or sitting on a city council where decisions are made for a whole community might be more effective scale and a better fit for you personally. Do it. Starting a business and provide jobs for people might be the best way to deal with low unemployment in depressed neighborhoods.

Aspire to become a teacher or a principal in a elementary school than simply going the non-profit route of helping out with a tutoring program. In fact, do both. Go to law school and work to become a judge in the juvenile court system or become a prison warden. If there's a food dessert, open up a deli or market yourself. The possibilities are endless.

The idea that justice for the poor can only be served outside formal political, social, and economic (for profit) systems and structures is preposterous. Rubbish. We need people who love Jesus and justice inside the rooms where decisions are being made politically and economically. I'm not against non-profits, we need more of them because the provide more effective ways to healing people than large-scale government programs, but I think Christians can be more creative in their approach to justice than the current reduction to non-profits and withdrawal from the political and economic sphere that we often here.

Thurgood Marshal helped the Civil-Rights cause by going to law school. The Root.com recounts this story: In 1898, Charles Clinton Spaulding, medical doctor Aaron McDuffie Moore, and ex-slave and entrepreneur John Merrick -- founded the first black-owned and -managed insurance company, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. In 1934 it was the nation's largest black-owned business, and it is still one of the nation's oldest black-owned businesses today.

What the world needs are people wiling to own the fact that they have race and class privilege and then use to make change within social, political, and economic structures by taking leadership roles in them. A tutoring program is good but being a principal or a superintendent means that you could shape an entire institution for the good. Don't be ashamed of your white privilege. You've been given it so that you can love your neighbor with it for God's glory (Matt 22:36-40). White privilege is not a burden, it can be tool and a weapon for narcissist pursuits or for the common good.

 

Here's a short clip of me explaining this concept: http://vimeo.com/37286233

Posted
AuthorAnthony Bradley