It’s not a word I used daily. I don’t actively think about “prospering”. But I think it is tied indelibly to the concept of “white privilege.” Of interest is the fact that “white privilege” only exists in the contexts of “white” cultures, that is, American and European contexts. Elsewhere in the world, it’s simply known as “privilege”. If you are born into wealth and/ or power, you are born into privilege. If your father is the chief of the village, you are born into “privilege” or if your family has done well in business, your family is “privileged.” It only becomes “white privilege” when whites are involved. We don’t call “affirmative action” privilege, even though it was a way for people of color (specifically people who identify as “black”, regardless of how “black” they actually are) to get ahead of other students, regardless of skin color, and be admitted to colleges. This was a system which put whites as a disadvantage because of their skin color, and blacks at an advantage. That sounds like privilege. But I’m probably wrong about that.

The argument that I’ve been hearing is that black people (specifically black people, not Asians, who were treated as slaves on the West Coast for many years), nor Irish (who were considered slaves on the East Coast for many years), nor the Native Americans (who were treated like trash pretty much the whole time), have suffered so much and have been hampered in their progress today because of American Slavery that ended in 1865, 155 years ago. The argument as I understand it goes (and I’m probably wrong, so take it with a grain of salt) is that Black African Slaves, who were brought over against their will, were put to work as slaves in the American South. Because they began their lives here as slaves, they missed out on financial opportunities to thrive and prosper, and instead spent their valuable time working for others, so that prominent white families thrived at their expense. Therefore, white people (who may or may not be related to those prominent families) owe reparations and justice to black people (who may or may not have had ancestors who were slaves). I know this is just one facet of the current Black Lives Matter issue, but one thing at a time.

So as this “justice” is playing out, it becomes okay to take and to destroy what white people have to even the score. It becomes okay to loot and pillage white-owned businesses because that’s just getting even. It is even okay to kill white people, because blacks have historically been killed in the name of white supremacy. Do you follow me so far?

So what happens to black-skinned people who prosper? Of course, they defy the narrative of justice and are marginalized. A number of black-owned business have been destroyed. Successful black individuals have been labeled “Uncle Toms” or even traitors. Black people who don’t believe in systemic racism have been ignored and excluded from the conversation. It doesn’t matter what Justice Clarence Thomas says about the issues, or Dr. Ben Carson. It doesn’t matter that people with black skin have defied the “systemic racism” and are prospering today. They are irrelevant, because they don’t support the narrative.

Is it true that there are places in this country where skin color matters? Absolutely. But isn’t it also true that there are places in this country where the content of your character matters more? Where your job experience, your wisdom, your view on the world matters more than the color of your skin? Are there places in this nation where your faith shines brighter than your melanin? Are there voices you listen to for whom their skin color has no bearing on your willingness to listen? Or does skin color make all the difference? Tell me again what racism is? Remind me what “privilege” is? Do you privilege certain people to speak into your life because of their skin color?

When the words of the Bible were penned, they were penned by people who do not share my skin color. They were inspired by a God who has no skin color, but whom sent His Son to the Jewish nation, a people whose skin reflects their residency around the Mediterranean Sea, not the abodes of the northern Europeans. Jesus wasn’t black, but He wasn’t white either. But that doesn’t mean He didn’t die for me. Jesus considered all human lives to be of equal value and worth. His red blood was shed for all who possess red blood and human souls.

That’s why His words work for everyone. Everyone who follows the words of His book will prosper. Everyone can enjoy the privilege of prospering if they heed the words of this Book and do them. Prospering is not limited to whites, but for all who obey the Word of God and do it. Would you rather prosper, or feed off of your hate, anger, and bitterness?

Heavenly Father, we’ve made mistakes. You know that we have. And Father I believe that today we are paying for those mistakes in a national sense, with not only the disruption of our economy and normal lives, but also with the violence, the hate, and the disruption of our general welfare. Our sins are coming back to us tenfold. And we are being destroyed from within. Father, may we repent on behalf of our nation. May our nation see its faults and return to its Creator? Father may Your people be salt and light in this corrupted world. May we be a preservative influence, and a light in dark places. May You embolden us to stand for You, because You died for us. May I pray these things in the name of Jesus, my Savior, Amen.

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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