This is a description of me “before”...(and this is truly hard for me to admit). But, I believe that acknowledgment, and confession, are important to inform the conversation. So here goes:
I am a white middle-class, cis-gender, American conservative Republican.
I believe that Americans - regardless of color - are in the position they are in because of the opportunities that they create for themselves and based on how hard they work.
It's called "The American Dream" and it's based solely on the equality of opportunity that is available to ANY American. I feel like people who talk about racism are just perpetuating racism. They are people of color, that for some reason, can't just let it rest. If they would stop talking about it - racism would go away. Seriously.
I am certainly not racist. Jesus tells me to love everyone, and I do that. I go out of my way to make everyone, including the person of color that I see, albeit once in a while, feel welcome. I had black friends growing up - just one or two because I lived in a white neighborhood. Not white for any other reason than just black people didn't live there. My school was all white, too. The black friends I had were from a foster home closer to the city.
I don't have any friends that are brown or black anymore because I live in a valley that really only white people live in, I think there are a few black families. My kids have a few friends of color. But, around friends, we call where we live "the bubble." We even giggle about how "blessed" we are because it is so beautiful and amazing.
But, that's all because we have worked hard to get here. Every single one of us. I have never received any special circumstances at all to get here. Not that I know of...
And really, I don't believe there is a disparity between the races. The chips have fallen where they are. My mother was even on welfare when I was a baby because my dad left us dirt poor and look where I am now. A great example of the system working perfectly.
And certainly, since the civil rights era, we have all woken up and realized that we are all equal and black people really are just fine now. If you asked me why they do keep talking race? I don't know? Some people can't let it go...I don't really need to worry about it though. It doesn't affect me. I love all people and do my best to be a good neighbor to everyone.
One day a while ago and as part of an assignment for school, I watched a video about redlining.
It changed my whole life.
Why? Because I believed that everyone had the same starting line, the same chances. And all along, that was not the case. The system had decided that white people got a leg up for the simple reason that their skin was white.
I had no idea that things like this happened (for many reasons, one being the curriculum in schools is/was terribly whitewashed). When I started to research and educate myself, well, my eyes have been opened.
I've learned a lot. But, I hardly know anything.
I am seeking to fight for the oppressed, BIPOC, and make change using my status as a white woman. It is the right thing to do. People are suffering and have suffered inequlity for just the fact that their skin is a different color. Absolutely unacceptable.
I have found my purpose, which as a white person, is to use these maps to open some eyes like they did mine.
“Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17