A Pastoral Word to My White Friends after the Most Recent Shooting at Colorado Springs
Derek Penwell
41

I am well aware of the fact that racism still exists in America. I never felt like I had to “correct” the BlackLivesMatter protesters for not being inclusive enough in a protest sparked by blacks being murdered by police officers.

If I find anything to take offense to, it starts with the assumption that because of my skin color I have to be clueless or worse someone offended at someone daring to suggest other people people have problems with the current state of society.

I also take offense at the crack about reverse racism. I don’t harbor the views the author of this piece ties to the term to but rather I’m referring to the Other definition of the term: the response of people who think the best solution to racism is to be racist towards white people. I’m offended that, for example, some people try to edit out the impact of whites such as the Freedom Riders in the Civil Rights movement because they prefer the idea that Civil Rights is not a conflict of Good versus Evil but rather of Black versus White. I also take offense to those that either claim that that version of racism isn’t a real thing or else that being a member of a group that suffers from racism means you deserve the option to be racist yourself.

I’m an egalitarian. I believe everyone deserves equal treatment but also that true equality is as much about being equal in the bad parts of human nature as the good parts. I happen to have black friends but I don’t consider it an accomplishment both because I didn’t choose them for their skin color and because having friends who by coincidence have dark skin doesn’t prove me to be a good person; my character does. I respect my friends too much to treat some friends different than others and I have yet to see any of them expect it.

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