I apologize. As a white woman and recovering missionary, I apologize. I am so terribly sorry. I apologize for my ignorance. I apologize for my words and actions and photos.
I apologize to the people of color… for not knowing my privilege, for not knowing your story, and for not knowing the truth. I apologize for silencing your voices, ignoring your words, and not seeing your reality.
I am not even sure where to begin to explain to those of you who are wondering why I am apologizing. You see, we all should be apologizing. We all play a role. If you are white, then you have privilege. Full stop.
We blindly contribute to this world system that favors white people. And maybe you are ignorant to it, as I was. It is true that ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is also privilege. I can say that I am fighting for social justice, but that is a white luxury. Rather, I am trying to understand justice. What I am fighting against is ignorance and what I am really fighting for is truth. Now that I know more truth, I have a responsibility to speak about it and out of that responsibility comes my apology.
I was the perfect white savior. I was young and naive. I was a new Christian. I was color-blind. I was passionate about helping people.
So I raised the money and I went to do the stuff, not realizing that I was the problem. I am the problem.
I apologize to those of you who funded and contributed to my going.
I apologize to those of you I met on my journeys; the ones I thought I could help or save.
I apologize to those of you who ever felt less than, silenced, or belittled because of my commitment and role in white saviorism.
I apologize to my friends of color for not seeing your color and its beauty and how my ignorance caused and still causes you injustice.
Nobody ever told me the harm I was doing. There are only two occasions I can think of where I received push back on my Christian mission to help the poor in America and overseas. Most people were just concerned about my safety and health. I have wondered why nobody ever told me the whole system was a piece of… Enter white privilege. It is all a part of the power dynamic. It is the unspoken white rule. I had no idea until I went and, well, met my husband and inadvertently challenged the system.
Anyway, the point of this post is not to get into any of our story, but rather to simply say how sorry I am. You do not have to forgive me. That is not the point. The point is that I am publicly acknowledging my guilt and contribution to this problem, so that people can hold me accountable and I can do better.
Yes, a lot of it has to do with now being a mother and a mother to a biracial daughter… But it is also just the right thing to do, and it is about time we white folk do the right thing.
So, again, from the broken crevices of my heart, I am sorry.