As a child, growing up in a Christian home, I was taught to believe that we are all created equal.We all descended from Adam and Eve after all, right?We are all members of the human race and have the same advantages or disadvantages, depending on our individual family and community situations, but certainly not depending on the color of our skin.My small town northern Wisconsin community, however, had no ethnic diversity when I was growing up.While I learned about other races in school, my sheltered and naive youth taught me nothing of the "then" present day, real world, injustices.
I remember a couple of different occasions, while sitting around the supper table, my dad talking about his Air Force days and his comment that some of his best friends were "colored".I often wondered about that comment. As I got older, and a little bit more worldly, I have come to realize that my dad was probably trying to impress upon his children that he was not prejudice and that we should not be prejudice. Maybe he was even trying to convince himself that he was not prejudice, because in retrospect, I believe he was, even though he tried not to be.He was a very just and fair minded man but he still only knew what it was like to be white, just as his children and my children do now.Peggy McIntosh stated it very well for me when she said "As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something which puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of it's corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.
" (McIntosh)Years ago, I read Martin Luther King's Letter From The Birmingham Jail.His statement, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" struck me so greatly that I made a print and framed it.Dr. King had a beautiful concept of morality and I think his statement implies that when we devalue the humanityof another.