Taking It Home: Whiteness and Privilege

The struggle for racial justice in America calls those of us who are White to make this journey. Our presence is needed. We have been absent too long. — Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, from Soul Work: Anti-racist Theologies in Dialogue, Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley and Nancy Palmer Jones, editors (Boston: Skinner House, 2003)

As you go about your normal routines, take mental notes of how you see White privilege at work. You will likely notice White privilege in places where the majority of people appear Caucasian. If you yourself have white or light skin, make note of how this privilege characterizes your daily routines. If your experience is through the lens of a racially or ethnically marginalized group, make note of how White privilege operates and its impact in your life.

Consider how, if at all, you contribute to the system of White privilege.

Deepen your skills and your capacity to identify and respond to white privilege when you encounter it in your day-to-day life. Make it a spiritual practice to ask yourself the questions from Handout 2 when you encounter or observe privilege in action. Record your responses in your journal and/or talk them over with a friend or family member. Also be mindful of your own feelings of guilt, shame, or powerlessness when and if those feelings arise. Record them in your journal or otherwise take note of them. Does practicing your skills for dismantling privilege affect how you feel when you notice a manifestation of privilege?