The only time I thought about skin color as a young girl was in the middle of an art project. As a young artist who finally learned that people don’t have purple or green skin, I always looked for the “flesh” colored crayon.
Most of my life has been lived primarily surrounded by other white Americans. This long string of racially homogeneous neighborhoods and social circles kept me blind to the racism inherent in the opportunities and experiences I’d learned to take for granted.
I recently read about the history of whites in Hawaii. It was filled in greed, violence, theft and racism against all non-white peoples, including the native Hawaiians. It is a story that has been repeated in Haiti, Central America and Africa. This is not just history, it is happening today.
Looking at the hard truths of my own story as a white woman is the subject of my latest YouTube video. I have to stand in the paradox of both horrors and generosity of white people and white culture in order to discover what it means to me, personally, to be a white woman. Noticing and diving deeply into my own whiteness has helped me gain perspective on my privilege, our history and our universal challenges as we move forward toward justice.
Are you ready to look at your own life, including the implications of your skin color, and see yourself in a bigger context of truth?