The Embodiment of White Power and Privilege - Jeremy Putnam
Wednesday 1st July 2020
Since the day I was born I have experienced the privilege of having an acceptable colour.
Nothing ever starts in a vacuum. Violence never happens out of thin air. Emotion is never generated from within itself. Everything has a cause; nothing occurs in isolation.
George Floyd, Trump, Bible, Police, Citizen Black, White, Church, State, Violence, Justice.
I do not know what to say. I have no right to say it, even if I did. I have never been on the receiving end of racism. I have only ever benefited from it.
Since the day I was born I have experienced the privilege of having an acceptable colour. I am already more likely to have a better education, a better job, my own home, and a safer community, all because of the colour of my skin.
To top it off I am a man, and heterosexual.
My heritage has not been forced to adopt a history of trauma directed at my ‘kind’, and I’ve not been subjected to racialised assessments carried on and nurtured over time. I have not originated from mother countries, as Jude Yawson puts it, “gradually drying from the imperialism they were soaked in”, and do not have to live in the wake of slavery and colonialism and the impact that they have had on my country or people. I have no right to say anything.
But I saw pictures yesterday of Trump’s Tiananmen cleared with gas and stun grenades. He stood, as the embodiment of white power and privilege or maybe the American Dream or both, in front of a church he cannot enter, with a Bible in his hand he has not read. His backdrop represents a way of life which he opposes in all he does.
It makes me sick, that he wants to stand with me, a preacher. I feel ashamed, that I am part of it all. While all this happened protesters hold signs, “Black lives matter” “Trump mocks Christ” “God is not a prop”’
Just before noon, the protestors knelt down for eight minutes of silence and prayer — one for each minute a police officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck before he died.
When will the Easter morning come?
I will be praying today for justice, for repentance, for love to overcome, for peace to overcome, for Christ to come and teach us again. That is all I can do for now.
By Jeremy Putnam, Rev of All Saints Church, Highertown, Truro
courtesy of An Krenner Kernewek