Recently, I overheard two women complaining that white Christians are victims of discrimination. I did not interrupt them or try to inject my opinion because I honestly wanted to listen to why they feel that way. I also enjoy eavesdropping.
I don’t know these women very well but I know them well enough to discern they are law abiding, hard working, educated women in their 50’s who do not vandalize property with swastikas in their spare time. I believe they care about people and if a black or Muslim person entered their workplace they would not treat them disrespectfully.
After listening to them for a while, it occurred to me they truly believe white Christians are targets now. While, I do not agree with them, I respect their authentic fear that the people of their race and religion are being treated unfairly.
I don’t think they are racist. I think they are afraid. While they read in their history books about the civil rights movement and slavery, they don’t know the feeling of struggle and disenfranchisement people of color and minority religions have dealt with. It’s one thing to intellectually know something – it’s virtually impossible to feel it in your core if you have not experienced it.
I know in my core I have privilege because I am white. As a Jew, I’ve heard anti-Semitic sentiments thrown my way. Until this Trump election, I really never took them seriously because as far as I know, being Jewish has not affected my life negatively (other than being neurotic and being made fun of for loving gefilte fish). I say until this Trump election because the KKK and people getting on the Nazi bandwagon are brushing off the dirt after hiding under their rocks for so long. But I digress. As a woman and a Jew, I have a few things to complain about (just comes with the territory). As a caucasian, not much room to complain.
What are they afraid of? Losing privileged status? Maybe that is an oversimplification. A redistribution of resources? Maybe that is too complicated. I can’t speak for them.
I think a lot of people who are afraid white Christians are victims of prejudice are a lot like those two women. They aren’t racist or hateful. If you talk to them on a personal level, they are really nice. Hmmm…I kind of wish I did speak with them instead of just eavesdropping.