At the UUCC, we have been focusing on the privileges that come with being white in a society where race is still a dominant part of our social landscape. We’ve tried to read books, foster conversations, focus worship and keep our attention on these difficult questions as we learn and understand more and more how wrapped up we all are in race. At all times, even when we are all feeling charged up and ready to tackle difficult issues, it is sometimes tough to start. To truly assess the experience of being white in a racist world entails that we ask questions not just about our intentions and our feelings, but also about our implicit biases, our unintentional participation and scores of other things that otherwise go unnoticed. In fact, that is the essence of what “privileges” being white in America: it is only those who are white who get to choose whether or not to care about racial justice.
In light of that, how remarkable it is to have someone with a history in Cleveland and with a genuinely rich perspective as a professional athlete who enjoys even more privileges than your average individual weigh in on this discussion. The result is a thoughtful, incisive essay that genuinely benefits the conversation and represents a model for how one can be self-critical about one’s racial status without losing sight of oneself. If speaking up matters, Kyle Korver writing this essay represents a substantial step in using celebrity and notariety to pose some difficult questions. Read it if you have the chance. And pass it on if you don’t. Let’s keep this conversation going!