Responses to My Posts on Charlottesville

… have ranged from furious to beautiful. On the beautiful side – singer-songwriter Jamin Krause sent this song.

Our Love Is Stronger Than Our Hate

Take a moment, turn it up and have a listen. Please be so kind as to share! All we have in common outshines that which sets us apart.

Posted by Jamin Krause on Saturday, November 5, 2016

(Thanks, Jamin!)

On the more furious side …

You lost my attention when you used the phrase, “white-privilege”.
You have no credibility with me when you turn as racist as those you condemn.


I appreciate this note as well. If the writer of this note is still paying attention (I hope so!), I’ll offer this brief explanation of white privilege.

Imagine in Charlottesville if several dozen black or Latino men showed up dressed in camo several hours before the permitted rally, each carrying multiple assault weapons and handguns, and established themselves in the rally area. Do you think they would have been allowed to serve as private “security” for a protest, with fire power that local authorities said exceeded their own?

But white heavily armed militia showed up and did this very thing.

Then, a few hours after they showed up, scores more heavily armed white people showed up, including many carrying Nazi flags. When the police announced a state of emergency and sought to clear the area, a group of these white men started pushing against the police. (You’ll see it in this video – pardon the profanity, etc.)

Just imagine if black or brown people had pushed against the police. The point is that white people can get away with things in a white majority context that people of color can’t.

Or watch this video of a white supremacist melting back into a crowd of protestors, and realize that people of color can never, ever do that.

Contrast what you see there with this, where officers humiliate a 20 year old black female college student for the crime of running a stop sign:

White privilege shows up in many other ways, too. If you are open to learning about it, here is a helpful site.

One more thing. White privilege does not mean that every white person is equally privileged. In fact, as I’m sure you know, many white people are terribly underserved and experience poor health care, inadequate education, unacceptable protection from crime, and unacceptable help with unemployment, drug addiction, etc. They are left behind along with their neighbors who are black, brown, etc. because they are poor. My colleague the Rev. William Barber is organizing a “poor people’s campaign” to help bring all willing poor people together – along with allies who aren’t poor – so that together we can create better opportunities for everyone.

I hope you are still paying attention, and I hope that makes some sense of what I said.