“Race is connected to a story they are telling themselves. A story about how God gave them this country, how they are Chosen and loved, how they are Good. It is awkward to say that God gave you a country that you claimed by committing genocide (even if there is more than one Old Testament example of God doing exactly that). It doesn’t fit the narrative. Just like it doesn’t fit to say that you built that country on the backs of slaves, that the belief in the love of God simply did not translate to people who did not look like you. It is no accident, the things we say and the things we don’t. It is also no accident that 80% of white evangelicals voted for Trump this last election, and it is closely related. Though many of them may have said it was about abortion, the fact that they were able to close their eyes to the race and gender implications of a Donald Trump presidency says plenty about the path they’ve chosen.
Those of us white kids who were raised in this, whether we still believe it or not, it matters that we name the water we swam in and the impact it had on us. We learned lessons about ourselves, about who we are in the world, about who deserved what. It’s time to Name those things, it’s time to Know them, to Know ourselves. We were a part of perpetuating a white supremacist system, and even if we had no choice about being born into it, we have a choice with what we do now.