John Branyan
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Latest post from John's Comedy Sojourn

--- Caucasian Apology ---

Recently posted an article on the subject of white privilege.

Not surprisingly

I missed the whole point.

That’s what a friend of mine told me.

He’s a pastor in a large church.

And he has black people on staff.

So if he says I missed the point,

I did.

The point was that teaching values makes kids privileged.

…made sense to me at the time.

An exchange of links to various articles took place.

Loving efforts to help me understand that:

1) White privilege exists.

2) I make things worse when I deny it.

I read the article with great care.

Because it was pastor-endorsed.

A pastor who is eager to see unity in the body of Christ.

Because what makes white privilege so awful is…

It destroys church unity.

It creates divisions along the lines of race.

So I read the article and…

I got the point!

White privilege is:

“an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious.”

But I’m no longer oblivious!

Thanks to this article,

I’m hip to my privilege.

(That’s called an acknowledgment.)

Now comes the hard part.

The apology.

I’m not just apologizing for myself though.

I’m speaking for all white people who have ever lived.

All white people throughout history.

White privilege has benefited every Caucasian so

It is fitting that the apology come from every white person.

The author lists many specific examples of privilege in the article.

You might want to at least glance at the list.

…or you might think I’m joking.

I will now apologize for every one of them.

I’m sorry I can associate with other white people whenever I want.

I’m sorry I can buy affordable housing when I decide to move.

I’m sorry that my neighbors are either neutral or pleasant to me.

I’m sorry that I am not harassed when I go shopping by myself.

I’m sorry white people are represented on television and on the front page of newspapers.

I’m sorry that I’m educated about the role of white people in history. (And I’m sorry that role was so big.)

I’m sorry my children can easily participate in extracurricular activity that testifies to the existence of white people. (I want to be completely honest and admit that I don’t know specifically what those activities are or even what the apology means but I’m sorry anyway.)

I’m sorry that if I wanted I could find somebody to publish this article. (For the sake of the apology, the internet doesn’t count as real publishing.)

I’m sorry I can find white people music in a music shop. (Though I’m never sure which section it’s in.)

I’m sorry I can find food in the grocery store that aligns with white people traditions. (Mac-N-Cheese, Potato Chips, Beer, etc.)

I’m sorry I’ve visited barbers who can effectively deal with my hair. (Even though it doesn’t look like it.)

I’m sorry that my skin color has never worked against my appearance of financial responsibility. (Though sometimes my credit score has worked against me but that’s my own fault. I’m sorry to all of mankind for the shambles I’ve made of the economy.)

I’m sorry I can protect my children from people who don’t like them. (I’ve consistently failed doing this. There always seems to be someone who doesn’t like them no matter where they go.)

I’m sorry I can swear, dress in second hand clothes or not answer letters without having people attribute these choices to my being a white guy.

I’m sorry I can speak in public to a powerful male group. (Though to date I’ve not done so.)

I’m sorry that I’m not called a credit to my race when I do well in a challenging situation. (Here’s to hoping it happens someday.)

I’m sorry I’m never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group. (Though I’m doing just that at the moment. I’m sorry about it.)

I’m sorry I can be oblivious to the language and customs of non-white people without suffering penalty. 

I’m sorry I can criticize the government without being thought of as a cultural outsider. (My political views make me an outsider. So I’m sorry that I hold these views as a Caucasian.)

I’m sorry that when I ask to speak to the “person in charge”, it’s often a white person. (And I want to apologize doubly for when the person is also a male.)

I’m sorry that I get pulled over by the police for traffic violations and not because I’m white.

I’m sorry that when the IRS audits me it’s not just because I’m white. (It’s because I’m Conservative.)

I’m sorry I can buy posters, postcards, picture books, toys, dolls and children’s magazines featuring white people.

I’m sorry that I don’t feel isolated, outnumbered or feared when I leave a meeting.

I’m sorry that I can take a job at an affirmative action employer and the other employees won’t suspect that I got it because I’m white. (Seriously. I know this sounds like sarcasm but read the list…)

I’m sorry that when I stay at a hotel I never worry about other white people not being able to get in. (I also don’t give a moment’s thought to white people being mistreated at hotels. I’m sorry.)

I’m sorry that when I need legal or medical help it doesn’t work against me to be white.

I’m sorry that when I’m having a bad day, week or year that I don’t wonder if it’s because I’m white.

I’m sorry that I can wear bandages that kind of, almost, match the color of my skin.

Certainly this doesn’t begin to atone for the myriad sins of my whiteness.

I can’t fully understand the depth of my privilege from reading one article.

But I gotta start somewhere.

So I’m begging forgiveness.

And to you church pastors calling for awareness of white privilege:

Thanks!

This apology was a catharsis.

I’ve never felt more love and unity than I do right now.

—–

UPDATE:  Had to attach new links to the Peggy McIntosh article. I apologize for the hassle to anyone who’s tried to follow broken links. For some reason, the last 2 articles I’ve commented about have been taken down within days of my comment.