Today I was eating lunch with Rich, a person who works a lot with Christian Peacemaker Teams. They’re a group who accompanies people in the midst of violence- currently they are working in Iraq, Hebron, Canada, US/Mexico border, Columbia, and more. They? made news when 5 CPTers were abducted in Iraq last year (Wiki article). One was murdered.
Rich was talking about how they struggle with the use of Constructive Racism when they are working in high pressure environments. For instance, they are planning on going to Uganda in November to accompany internally displaced peoples who are returning home. The presence of white U.S. American people will probably keep these refugees safe as they return home.
So these teams, Rich said, realize they have incredible power and privilege. They are largely white, and have U.S. passports. This can REALLY help underprivileged people as they go through a tumultous time.
But at the same time, does this “Constructive Racism,” perpetuate the power structure more?
I made a case previously that I now am calling the “Superhero’s Question,” about using powers for good or for evil. How does it work when the Superhero’s name is “Whiteman”?
As I work towards doing Socially Aware Media, this is something to think about.