One of the most difficult concepts for white people (I'm one) to understand is what's called "white privilege."
The concept has been a topic of discussion again in the wake of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo.
A pastor who also is an adjunct journalism professor at my alma mater, the University of Missouri, has written this intriguing piece about how black people can help white people understand white privilege and other aspects of race relations.
We white folks keep thinking we've made a lot of progress with all this. And, indeed, things are much different and better than they were when I was a boy, as I describe in a chapter in my new book, Woodstock: A Story of Middle Americans. But then we get smacked by something like Ferguson and we realize anew how much is left to do.
I was blessed (though I didn't know it at the time) as a child to experience the flip side of white privilege when my family moved to India for two years and I was the only American in a school full of Indians or Anglo-Indians. I caught plenty of heat for being different. So at least I knew what that felt like and I resolved not to be part of the problem, though surely I have been.
I hope to create some kind of opportunity for my mostly white congregation to become more sensitive to all this. I suggest you do the same.
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HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. -- I'm on the road for a few days visiting friends, so until at least Thursday you won't find the traditional second item here. But you're welcome to check out pieces I've posted under the "Check this out" headline on the right side of this page.