Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Man, I Am Really White!

As you can see, I am white.

This is not a shock to anyone who knows me. Nothing about my appearance stands out. Back in the USA I sort of blend in with the crowd. I'm not unique in this. When you are part of the majority population anywhere, you tend not to think a whole lot about the color of your skin.

Since you read this blog you know that I've been in India for over a week now. Over 99% of the people I see here are not white. Sometimes I catch locals staring at me. I can only assume that it is because of my skin color. This causes me to occasionally think, "Man, I am really white!"

I suppose this has some implication for missions. I'm too tired to write anything deep about that right now. It's just that skin color does matter. We are foolish to pretend it doesn't. We can look to the recent situation in Ferguson, MO to remind us that skin color will always play a part in decisions we make.

While skin color is important, it is not the most important thing. Every person is an individual. I'm trying while in India to see people as individuals instead of just part of the teeming masses. Every one of these people needs Christ. Bridging the cultural gap, which in this case includes skin color, is one of the challenges.

One other thing: life is easier when you are part of the skin color majority. Again, I'm not sure about the missions-impact of this, but it is the case. Back in 'Merica I'm part of that majority. Because I'm part of that numerical group that makes up over 50% of the population, people tend to not notice my skin. I wonder how I would feel if my skin was a different color.

To sum up, let's just remember that skin color is an important thing, but it is not the most important thing.


Arthur Sido said...

I recall that same feeling in Haiti, at a church service the little group of 15 white people sat in a little pocket at the front and the other couple hundred people were all black. Having lived in overwhelmingly racially homogeneous locations all of my life it was a jarring, and if I am honest discomforting in some ways, experience.

Eric said...


It certainly is a different feeling to be in the minority. It makes me a little more sympathetic for those who are minorities for all their lives wherever they live. One good thing in Savannah is that the population is about 50-50 black/white, with small numbers of other races mixed in. Although this doesn't do away with all racial tensions, at least the numbers are about even as far as blacks and whites are concerned.

Aussie John said...


Seventy-five years have passed and I'm still grieved by the awareness of color differences.

I grew into my teen years without any consideration of color differences among my friends,at least half of which were mixed race, mostly Australian Aboriginal, Chinese, Greek, and Indian.

Some African-Americans came and spoke to our black folk at which time a wall was placed between us.

Eric said...


I suppose it is just another example of the power and danger of sin in this fallen world. How wonderful it will be at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb when we will all sit with our King as people of various races!