White Blindness, The Ethiopian Finance Minister, & Us

May 10, 2021

We act like whiteness doesn’t hurt or change us. Perhaps, whiteness, white blindness, white supremacy hurts “others” but we like to believe that it doesn’t damage our faith. We’re wrong, of course. We are blinded to so much by the socialization of whiteness, by the heavy curtain of culturally required assumptions to peacefully in white-dominated society. We aren’t even allowed to see what’s right in front of us, printed on the page no less.

Maybe you know the lesson of the Ethiopian Eunuch. Maybe there is so much more…

We Choose What We See

Do we even know what history is in the room? Can we feel the weight of hundreds of years of Western-centered world-view highlighting Phillip’s “salvific” actions, shifting our focus, shaping our mental image? Our learned presumptions of whiteness are so thick, so deep that only that which fits exactly our Western paradigm, only that which confirms our white notions of faithfulness, only that which affirms our narrow interpretations gets through.

We Reserve Judgement

What passes for faithfulness in our white world? What constitutes discipline and discipleship in following white Jesus? Who do we see and claim to be acting and acted upon – it’s all there in Black and white. Phillip is assumed to be acting faithfully, in part, because in most of our minds he’s a white, straight, cisgender, heterosexual man acting on the will of God to bring salvation to “the ends of the earth.” Anything that doesn’t quite fit that paradigm is lost to us. We can’t even, won’t even see details and evidence of God doing something different than what we’ve ordained to be true.

White Blindness Misses More than Faithfulness

We miss so much. We miss out on so much. White blindness limits our world and warps the boundaries we place on faith. Who can do the will of God? Who can serve our Lord? We decide who can incarnate Christ and work to bring saving faith to a broken and needy people, because we’re not the needy people, right?

Watch, listen, and explore all of this and more…

Working toward Beloved Community.

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