The recent events in Charlottesville, that acts merely as a revealing catalyst to racists not only in the American South, but in Canada as well, coupled with the collapse of celebrity evangelical leadership, have together spearheaded an upcoming series blog series on race, the church, and Canada. The full series can now be read here.

As an introduction to the series, I welcome Alyssa to the blog, she shares a spoken word penned in the aftermath of Charlottesville.

I’m an external processor, but words may fail me this time.
Because how can I be seeing this in my lifetime?
When generations before me have died to eradicate, this kind of hate.

I am privileged.

I know, and I have known white privilege for my entirety,
From the moment I breathed air,
From the moment of conception, in fact.
In fact, I am privileged.
And entitled in ways that I can’t fully observe, comprehend, measure and…
I grew up in a home considered less than.
Less money. Less peace. Less fatherly love. Being female, poor, pained by broken relationship can make life harder. But still, in fact, I recognize,
I live with privilege.

I can’t pretend to understand what it is to live without white privilege, but I can acknowledge
It exists.
That privilege, against the backdrop of unnamed, rarely named, inhumane discrimination in the hidden and the extreme
Pervades our everyday reality
In fact, it invades our identity.
Yes, In Canada.

The horror of Virginia is blatant.
I will not ignore glaring blemishes of our own communities, neighbourhoods, workplaces and cities.
Help me to see them. I want to see them. I wanna see you. I wanna hear you. I’m listening.
It’s time to, for awhile it’s been time to get real.
I acknowledge that there is a thing that is present in every fibre of my white existence. I am privileged. I won’t deny it.

It’s power at an hour when silence means joining the wrong side.
Because there are not “many sides.”
Because it could happen here, too.
Because it does happen here, too.

I live. I breathe beside you.
But I wanna breathe with you.
I’m listening.
Your words won’t fail you this time.
Because it’s happening in our lifetime.
I’m listening.

Tell me more.