So I’m a white guy, and I used to never think about my whiteness when I went anywhere, and for sure for sure I never sat around with other white people and talked about our whiteness. I’ve never sat around with other white people and asked, “When was the last time you thought about your whiteness?” or “What was one of the whitest things you’ve done lately?” … though perhaps now that I’m talking about it, maybe I just will do that some time. I’d have to say that a number of years ago I did some digging into the history of racial laws in the United States to learn about the history of immigration laws because I was curious – how did my Dutch ancestors go from thinking of themselves as Dutch to thinking of themselves as white? I had a lot of emotions about what I discovered, and learned a lot about laws that restricted the liberties and freedoms of people of color since before the Revolutionary War in the American colonies. Whiteness was a created thing, as were racial categories and laws based on these created categories that privileged and advantages white people and disadvantaged and punished others.
So today we will explore this topic using the book Christianity and Critical Race Theory: A Faithful and Constructive Conversation by Robert Chao Romero and Jeff M. Liou in this episode we are calling the “Who Gets to Be Legally White.”