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January 24, 2020

Comments | Return to Story

saraNovember 12, 2017

I want to applaud your courage to write this article. As a white mormon, I have recently been studying white privilege and what it means to me and i agree with much of what you said in this article. something i think is important to recognize is the white privilege isn't personal. when i say that white privilege exists im not trying to attack any specific person but you must recognize that although you didn't choose to be born white you were and in many ways you got a head start in life simply because of the color of your skin. and to everyone everywhere, i beg of you, please have an open mind and you listen to and discuss things with people. you may find, like i have in my research, that you have misconceptions or an incomplete education about many things

DeniseAugust 25, 2017

Thank you times a thousand! You really get it and I loved the way you explained many things. I love you comparison of listen as a therapist and listening as a friend/member of society or church. Please continue to share your understanding. I believe as we do this, we can help others to look at a different viewpoint. It takes time and a lot of discussion for those with differing thoughts to accept another's way of thinking. Thank you for putting yourself out there. ❤️❤️❤️

JAugust 24, 2017

This quote sounds as if you think they should have the chance to oppress, which is just irrational and serves no purpose in an article supposedly intended to bring awareness: "Blacks haven’t had, and still don’t have, the power to oppress whites they way we’ve done to them. That’s why our racism is so toxic." Our racism? Not all whites are racists. I've read some of your other articles and liked them. Here, I think you are far off the mark.

Loran BloodAugust 23, 2017

I have replied at length to Bro. Decker here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1456923317899164/permalink/1872017943056364/

okcmomAugust 22, 2017

There is much in this article with which I strongly disagree. The US Constitution does not enumerate a right NOT to be offended, but a right to free speech, especially speech that many will find offensive and distasteful. It also guarantees the right of assembly and freedom of worship and expression of faith, and to freely associate with whomever we choose to associate ourselves. It is only in this environment that the Church of Jesus Christ could be established in these latter days, to prepare the world for His return. Elder Bednar counseled that, as Latter-day Saints, we are to act and not be acted upon, and that being offended is a choice we make when confronted by unkind or even cruel words or actions of another. As for racism and discrimination, I would say that discrimination based upon outward appearance of skin coloration, ie racism, is the same as discrimination based upon religion, ie what the early members of the Church suffered in Missouri, or what Coptic Christians suffer today in the Middle East. Racism is a type of discrimination, not a concept of its own. Microaggression to me is a false term to justify finding offense as a victim (being acted upon) instead of acting with forgiveness and understanding. So what do we do as Latter-day Saints? We follow the Lord's example in treating every with love and kindness. But as we all know, none of us is perfect--I am often reminded that the Church is not a museum of saints, it is a hospital of sinners.

ViolaAugust 21, 2017

K, I agree with you. I think a lot of caring people feel the same way.

Aeryn SAugust 21, 2017

I have to say that I have never once considered anyone of any color less, or assumed someone was more likely to be a criminal, or broke other cultural and racial groups into the few "good ones" and the rest of the "bad ones." I was raised by goodly parents who taught me my entire life that God is no respecter of persons. My church teachers and leaders taught me the same thing. My father made it very clear that anyone we brought home to date, regardless of skin color, was fine by him as long as they were an honorable person who did their best to live by God's laws and also respected and honored his children. In my family and extended family, there have been several marriages to members of other races, and it has never been an issue in my family. It's true that I have read accounts of racism out in the world, and even within the church itself, and it breaks my heart when I hear of such things. But even in private conversations with people, even interacting with groups of diverse people, I have never once witnessed anything even remotely approaching racism. And I am concerned that an entire race of people is being labeled as racist for the color of their skin. Unless every person I know or interact with is simply very good at hiding their evil, racist ways, I have to assume that the vast majority are good-hearted people of goodwill. There is another thing: you see what you expect to see. If an entire generation is being groomed by an overwhelmingly liberal media to see every single word and act through the lens of racism, that is how they will interpret events. I respect the author's right to voice his views, but I think he is making vastly oversimplified judgments with flaws, and that can only lead to further division, rather than coming together as God intended us to be. As for so-called micro-aggressions, we've gone off the deep end as a society when eating peanut butter, wearing hoop earrings, cooking food from another culture, or asking someone where they are from can be considered racist (just a few of the many so-called micro-aggressions covered in media recently). Good grief -- in my neck of the woods, you ask everyone where they are from, because you want to learn more about them and their experience and who they are as a person, so you can grow closer to them, so you can find common threads and so you can celebrate and appreciate unique differences. More and more, there is a growing sense that if you are white, you can say nothing without being demonized for not accepting the politically correct line. Unless you confess your sins and admit you are racist, and always have been, from the moment you drew your first breath on this planet, simply by virtue of your skin color. So it's not surprising that that might lead to awkwardness in the presence of those from another race. If you are constantly bombarded by the message that you are racist, even if you don't intend to be, many choose to be quiet or reserved for fear that they will be wrongly judged. Talk about a catch-22 -- speak and you're racist, don't speak and you're racist. We will all stand before God one day, no matter our skin color, and make an accounting of our lives and I don't think he will accept excuses on either side. So yes, each person must search their own heart and root out any ugly attitudes, but that door swings both ways.

ElizabethAugust 21, 2017

K (and any others with the same issues), are you afraid that you offend other white people by your actions? Do you think twice about what to call a white Sister Jane Jones? What would you do if it was a white man approaching on that single-file path? If you'd call her Jane, then do that. If you'd move to the side, then do that. If you're not sure what you'd do regardless of race, ask. "May I call you Jane?" " Is it easier if I move?" Don't overthink love & respect.

KAugust 18, 2017

I'm sure Brother Decker is trying to walk a very fine line and express deep and heartfelt feelings. I'm a white woman in the church. I do not engage in any of the activities Br. Decker condemns. I also condemn all demeaning and hateful activities. But I don't know what to do with this article. I feel shame for something I cannot control. I didn't sign up to be born Caucasian, a part of the majority of this country. I don't feel I'm better than anyone of another color. Yet I'm supposed to feel ashamed for what others of my ethnicity have done. Yes, when I meet someone of color now, I do feel afraid--not of what they will do, but of how they will perceive anything I do. If I'm walking along a sidewalk wide enough for only one person to pass and a black man is coming my way, do I step off the path onto the grass (to be polite) or will that be seen as avoidance? Or do I stay on the path to allow him to be polite and somehow imply that he must move because he's black? If I sit next to a black woman at church and introduce myself, can I call her by her first name (being friendly as I would with anyone else) or will that be seen as condescending? Do I call her Sister Smith to be polite and risk being seen as distancing myself from her? What other innocent thing do I do that are considered micro-aggressions? How can I repent of something I don't even know I do? There is danger in people feeding the monster of victimhood. We don't rail against the inhabitants of Missouri anymore. We don't show up with pitchforks at the Book of Mormon musical. Once you identify as a victim, it seems that anything (including violence) is excusable in battling your victimizer. Tell me what I'm supposed to do with this article.

RalphAugust 18, 2017

I for one do not accept the progressive label of white privilege or any of their other labels to marginalize and demean anyone who disagrees with their narrative. Brother Decker is like most young people today who have been taught the liberal spin on history and politics. By acknowledging a label like white privilege you are perpetuating a lie and trying to put others on a guilt trip. This has nothing to do with racism or superiority. If one lives the Gospel of Jesus Christ then all of these labels are simply nonsense and are not essential to one's salvation.

Marilee Coles-RitchieAugust 18, 2017

Thank you for taking the time to write this article to those new to the term "White Privilege". I teach this concept in my teacher education classes because it is crucial to creating an inclusive classroom where students can learn. It's important to share in this magazine because many White mormons want to erase history and claim that we just need to be nice to everyone. We can start with this kind of blank slate mentality because the playing field isn't level. If you are part of a system that privileges your race, it's hard to recognize that it exists. If we want to grow together in Christ's church, we all need to be more aware.

EveAugust 18, 2017

I love the open discussion this article is and has created. I agree with so many of your well articulated points, as well as many of the points made in the comments. I do take issue, however, with one of your definitions. The fact is, prejudice based on race, IS racism. and yes, it can indeed go both ways. There are parts of the country that are a majority non-white, and racism is alive and well there, as well. It is best not to pretend this doesn't happen, and find out what it is about our natures, that would allow for racism of any kind. I believe it's part of the natural man, that we need to 'put off.' No matter our race, we can only overcome this war with love and understanding, and treating others as the brothers and sisters they really are.

VictoriaAugust 18, 2017

Sometimes I get worried that people will take the writings of this magazine as though the prophet has spoken...I can glean from this article...but it is not necessarily gospel truth. There are a lot of problems that this article ignores. I feel sometimes we have bent over backwards helping minorities in this country....free healthcare, grants for college,housing etc. While the middle class cannot anymore afford these things. Don't get me wrong. ...so want to help others. I gleaned from this article that the majority must be sensitive and inclusive of any minority in their midst. But we need to stop the labeling and focus on the loving.

Michael ColemanAugust 17, 2017

Cary nailed it by offering the right perspective.

JohnAugust 17, 2017

I think Decker did a decent job explaining himself. But no matter my good intentions to connect, listen, or talk with a few of my African American friends in anything close regarding a discussion on race...I get shot down. Because my opinon is wrong? A weak argument? No. It's because I'm white and can't possibly know anything concerning race apparently. The only way I've gotten an acknowledgement in the past is if I prostrate myself, curse my white race, and acknowledge how terrible I and my ancestors were for being white, and agree with everything said. I seriously did that once and it was the only 'constructive' discussion I've ever had. Sorry, but that's disingenuous, unconstructive, demoralizing, and unhelpful. I'll stick with my original strategy to be respectful, kind, to listen, but won't forfeit my opinion nor self-respect. LDS church said it well. Don't tolerate racism and call it out big and small.

ViolaAugust 17, 2017

I have a real desire to understand this issue, but I'm struggling. I don't understand what "white privilege" means. I've read many explanations online and this article. I see that Western European culture has had a major impact on our society and its values, which makes sense, considering that most early settlers came from that area. Every country I've visited or lived in has their own set of values and norms, based on the culture of the majority. Is that "white privilege?" I've read about "micro aggressions", and I don't quite understand them either. A lot of people say stupid things to people, like "when is your baby due?" to a woman who is not pregnant, or "so, does your dad have more wives?" to an LDS person. "Is that your natural hair color?" Are these micro aggressions? Despite not understanding these terms, it seems like we need to find out what is behind the actions of the people on both sides of the question. People of all races, including whites, need to be able to share their experiences and feelings and have them validated before anything can be resolved. As long as the media only shows part of the story, the real problems can't be addressed.

ChrisAugust 17, 2017

Well put. I gleaned insight and a new perspective from your article.

TomAugust 17, 2017

"White Privilege" is a made up concept by far left academia in the 1970s, but has taken center stage with BLM and the current Feminist Movement. Blame is the only alternative when you bring nothing valuable to society. It is a false and evil concept at its core and is used by those race hustling with an agenda to profit from the racial divide they themselves help create. A Recent article by David Horowitz was spot on: The ideology that drives the left (liberals) and creates a political divide is the idea that the world consists of two groups - "people of color" who are guiltless and oppressed and white people who are guilty and oppressors. This is the real race war.

MAugust 17, 2017

White privilege is an academic theory. The problem with theories is that there are real consequences when they are put into practice. It’s all very well to urge us to not be “blind, indifferent, apathetic, and silent” and accept that white privilege exists. But what does that mean in practice? I acknowledge that Climate Change might exist and that man may be responsible for some of it. But that doesn’t mean I accept the foolish practices that government imposes to combat it, like arresting farmers for plowing their fields that have been declared wetlands or condemning the Third World to perpetual poverty and darkness because we don’t like them burning coal. Just what does acceptance of white privilege theory mean in practical terms? Does it mean that we should have racial quotas in hiring and college admissions? Does it mean that a white judge cannot sentence a black criminal? Does it mean that a white teacher should give higher grades to black children? Does it mean white people cannot be critical of black people? Does it mean that blacks cannot commit racist acts against whites? Does it mean extra points are added to the scores of blacks on the LSAT or the MCAT? Does it mean that white people can be suspended from a university for not adhering to the speech code that prohibits verbal microagressions? Am I exercising my white privilege rather than common sense when I advise my children to immediately leave the mall, football game, or dance if there are large numbers of black teenagers hanging out there? Does it mean we cannot be critical of the leadership of almost every major metropolitan area in the country whose leadership is black? Does it mean I cannot be appalled and horrified by what Kermit Gosnell did and that, because he black, he should not hang for his crimes? Does that mean we should just accept the building of black-only student centers, the holding of separate black graduation ceremonies and proms, and the establishment of black-only dorms? Does it mean we continue to gloss over the assassination of five Texas law enforcement officers because they were gunned down by a Black Nationalist? When do we dynamite Mount Rushmore because it has four white guys on it? Perhaps acceptance of white privilege doesn’t mean any of those things. But I wouldn’t count on it. White people, members and non-members alike, will mostly stay silent as the real world consequences of the acceptance of the white privilege theory creep into American society. Eric Holder, when he first became Attorney General, said America was afraid to hold a conversation on race. He is correct. We are afraid to hold a conversation on race because our opinions are met with the oh-so-pithy counter argument of “shut up.” My ancestors never held slaves, I’ve never said the N-word in my life, my daughter dated a fine non-member black man, when I was a Bishop my First Counselor was a black man who I love to this day, I have been a social worker for more than 30 years working in and around the black community, but if I don’t accept the theory of white privilege I am not, to use your words, a friend, an ally, or a brother? You want more Trump? White privilege theory is how you get more Trump.

Stephen PhelpsAugust 17, 2017

Thank you, Brother Decker. I have to confess that I may not understand all the "labels" you mention... but I agree with the essence of your message which is, as I understood it, that we individually need to take affirmative steps to stand by our brothers and sisters who are oppressed, REGARDLESS OF THE REASON for the oppression. Race is one of many reasons oppression occurs. As disciples of the Savior of mankind, it is our duty to speak out, step up and be heard and seen as men and women who truly love ALL of our Heavenly Father's children and who show their love in meaningful ways.. Again, thank you for your message.

Evelynn DimbatAugust 17, 2017

Interesting insights as to why the author feels those that are frustrated with white privilege....However, I feel it goes deeper than race. We see disregard and unkindness in various degrees, with attitudes to others in all races. Having grown up in a poor white family, I felt those that looked down on us as we were not good enough. Both in and out of the Church. The scriptures give examples of these. But being the humans we are with inperfections, these cross all cultures and races. Humbling ourselves to know and then do that what God given us is not overcome easily, and continues to be a challenge.

Karren C.August 17, 2017

It seems no one wants to see the mote in his or her own eye, but would rather complain about every one else's beams. I think success in this era of judgment and overreaction is to glean. Take the good, leave the bad, and stop flaming & trolling. I gleaned some very good counsel from this article and I thank you for that.

RandyAugust 17, 2017

Jonathan, I respect your opinion and appreciate that you took the time to write this thoughtful opinion on White Privilege and Micro aggressions. I have a different opinion As far as I can tell White Privilege basically tells us that white people’s culture makes white people successful and makes it impossible for people of color to be successful. The goal seems to be to make white people feel bad about this and to justify using race and gender to elevate one group over another in the name of fairness. In the BOM after the great peace following Christ’s visit Mormon commented that one of the signs of the beginning of the fall of the Nephites was when the Nephites “began to be divided into classes” (4 Nephi 1:26). It seems to me that the philosophy of White Privilege fosters and encourages the classification of people by race. Racist/sexist actions are justified with Microaggression. Some of the fruit of the Microaggression philosophy include BLM, Antifa, stifling free speech and the recent firing of the Google engineer. Maybe you can help me out with some positive fruits of this philosophy, from where I am standing I do not see them. I believe we need to treat others with respect. We need to be sensitive to how others feel when we interact with them. We need to give a hand up to the poor and disfranchised. This is all part of becoming more Christ like. “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” MLK

Aussie DavidAugust 17, 2017

Im in Favour of building another tribe! The Tribe of Zion and inviting all to come out of the world, stop looking to fix the world, stop looking back at it as though we can actually fix other people, keep fixing ourselves through the atonement, keep following the Prophets and Jesus Christ out of this mass of selfish and pride driven behaviour into a better world. Bit of personal humility on my part probably wouldn't go astray.

JayAugust 17, 2017

You cannot resolve conflict by keeping score. This article is well intentioned but full of historical inaccuracies and politically correct terminology. NO privilege can be tolerated. NO supremacy is okay. When you allow or deny behaviors based on race, you are practicing racism, no matter who is involved or who is perpetrating the act.

HeathAugust 17, 2017

Hurting,steeling and even killing is not a right. Black lives matter is just another terrorist group. As lds member and a 14 year vet I witnessed this Sam thing in Kosovo war. The only thing is it was about religion. People would put each other into groups by religion.

DavidAugust 17, 2017

Soooooo, the nature of my job, where I live, and where I work gives me great insight on this topic. I can tell you that a lot of white people try and define white privilege as you did, but for the most part white privilege is perceived as white people just have it easier because they are white and white men get blamed a lot, but my friends and co-workers tell me I am different and it doesn't apply to me. Racism and prejudice knows no color boundaries, experienced it and seen it happen many many many times. 100 percent with you on point number 3.

CaryAugust 17, 2017

Your understanding of the theory of white privilege is correct, however the implications of white privilege means is not. This is an academic theory that has gained popularity and unfortunately, is not understood completely by both whites and minorities alike. White privilege is a paradox. According to the theory, it is inherently there solely by the color of our skin. Yes, that means white privilege is racist - not in the negative oppressive sense, but in the sense of having to completely do with race. The theory indicates that by the virtue of your white skin color; just because you listen, you can only sympathize, not empathize; any action you take on behalf of a minority is oppressive, because of your privilege; and most importantly, you can't do anything about your white privilege, because you can't objectively and actively recognize all the privilege that you have. Therein lies the paradox of white privilege - you can recognize that white privilege exists, but you also can't do anything about it, because of your white privilege. The irony is that your white privilege nullifies any of the solutions you propose, because you are white. This is the problem with white privilege today. It is used as an argument to say that your voice, as a white person, is not as important as the voice of a minority. It is used to invalidate anything white people say. It is a bully tactic, a club, to silence people. What happened in Charlottesville is appalling. The alt-right (for those that do not know, the alt-right is a movement that believes that Western Civilization is inherently white, and therefore white culture needs to be protected), neo-nazis and white supremacists are scum. Any member who associates with those groups, should not be temple recommend holders. Their views are evil. I think an argument against these groups would have been more worthwhile than arguing the theory of white privilege and what could be done about it, because by the very nature of white privilege, nothing can be done about it.

Ranger bobAugust 17, 2017

As a child I lived in a community of mostly black and Asian. I was one of three white kids in my class . My experience tells me that no matter the situation you will run In too racism. I was beaten by racist black and Asian nearly every week because I am white However some did come to my aid and did there beat to protect me. So you're haft wright on your perspective. It's what we are teaching each other in our government control schools. I was only 12 and that experience will for ever be a part of me. As long as man seeks out power and riches as well as excuses to treat each other poorly there will always be racists people in this world.

RaunaAugust 17, 2017

I appreciate your insightful comments. It gave me some new things to consider that I hadn't thought too deeply about. Thank you so much for sharing.

AngarnerAugust 17, 2017

Thank you. You articulated the issues well and with compassion. Thank you.

D. StoryAugust 17, 2017

Thank you for this wonderful article! I have been mulling these issues for quite some time. You clarified my thoughts and concerns in a loving and Christ-like way!

JoshAugust 17, 2017

I would like to thank the author for a well-thought out piece about a highly controversial topic. We are all entitled to our opinions... Including the rapid white supremacists, as much as I don't agree with them either. I do disagree with the definitions of the terms "white privilege" and "microaggression" and the current rhetoric used to give these terms scientific and political authority in our discourse. I have learned a lot from and also agree with political commentator, columnist, and author Ben Shapiro about these troublesome terms. He is found on Youtube if you are interested. My other problem with embracing these terms is how "reactive" they make you. The "problem" is always "out-there". It has nothing to do with me and the choices I make. Every person of color is a "victim" by the estimation of these terms. Acting out the "victim mentality" is the antithesis of productive and healthy cognitions. In fact, if the author was treating me and my family in his office and many of us were suffering from the "victim mentality" (whether real or perceived) and race had nothing to do with it, we would most likely be treated, in part, with cognitive behavioral therapy which puts control back into the hands of the individual. No more victim. No more reactive nature. You are in control of your destiny. Be proactive. Why is this the prescribed treatment, except when it comes to the "Race Wars" in America? I completely agree that if a racist individual or institution is to be found, then it out to be publicized and right thinking people will shun it and it will go away. But believing that "white privilege" is out there in the ether doesn't help anyone. Nor does making someone "an offender for a word" which is my definition of "microaggression". ALL folks need to let all this silliness be.

Wendy BirdAugust 17, 2017

Very well said and a timely message thank you for your thoughts and insights

DianeAugust 17, 2017

Thanks for stepping up and speaking up. You gave me lots to think about. Well done.

Candace OathoutAugust 17, 2017

Thank you for sharing your perspective. It needs to be shared far and wide. It is a message whose time has come.

L.CroftAugust 17, 2017

Let me start by saying that I know you want to help people and solve the conflicts in our country. My heart is compelling me to respond. We cannot understand what happened in Charlottesville without understanding that there is a movement in our country to undermine the constitution of the United States. The tools at hand are the same tools used by every viscous, murderous dictator and tyrant in modern history. First, divide the people based on whatever you can--race, gender, socio-economic class or religion. Then stifle the free expression of thoughts and ideas. Tear down the symbols of that society, beginning with the monuments and foundational symbols of its culture. (Once we destroy history, we can re-write it.) After that, it is so very easy to destroy the very people who resist. There were peaceful, law-abiding citizens who were protesting the removal of elements of their community's history. This peaceful protest was hijacked by two groups who sought to use that opportunity for their own evil purposes. YES--TWO! There were two hateful groups there. The media sought to focus on only one, the neo-nazis. But the other hateful group that showed up with clubs and scarves across their faces matching the colors of hateful terrorists showed up too. President Trump knows very well what is going on in this country and that is why he condemned both sides and asked, "What is next, George Washington?" The early Mormons were not persecuted for their faith. They were persecuted because those who held political power saw that they were soon going to lose that power with the influx of Mormons with their ability to build beautiful communities. Bigotry was just a tool to incite that violence. Blacks in our country have been a political tool for the left ever since they realized they were not going to be able to keep them from voting. And as Lyndon Johnson said, "If those [racist slur] are going to vote, they are going to vote Democrat!" That is why every Democratically elected mayor, congressman, senator and President continue policies that don't let them out of the cycle of poverty. Why else would they oppose school choice? The Left thought they had Socialism in the bag, and they would have, had Hillary been elected. The intentially flawed Oamacare would be converted to a single payor healthcare system. Once one fifth of the economy is socialized, everything else goes with it. Healthcare is the crown jewel of socialism. But as Margaret Thatcher so eloquently stated, "The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." Now you know why the left and its propaganda arm, the mainstream media, hate Trump so much. He foiled their plans. But at the end of the day, we have to decide as a people if we are going to remain free or as the Book of Mormon states, be "indolent" and on the downward cycle of righteousness and prosperity. We know in our hearts that we are not a racist country. Stop telling us we are.

ColinAugust 17, 2017

Bravo, Jonathan. Heartfelt and well done. For us to act differently, humility is the key.

Marcie PatchAugust 17, 2017

Very enlightening comments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Thank youAugust 17, 2017

I am white, born in Canada where for the most part I did not believe that racism really existed until recently. Out history claims to be the most open and welcoming of all races and cultures. Of course, that is not true. While I was reading your descriptions of microaggressions I realized that I am also at fault for them. I have loved my friends of colour on an individual basis, but I have to confess, have looked at them as exceptions to the rule. I have believed the stereotypes. This article is incredibly enlightening and has pointed out some hard truths to me. I feel ashamed and embarrassed. But this is something I intend to remedy and teach to my own children. Thank you.

Jim AndersonAugust 17, 2017

One of the beauties of family history is coming to know the sacrifices ancestors have made that have influence in my life today. Decisions to stay married, have families that support and help one another with lifelong dedication, and examples of hard working, law abiding, health conscious individuals that didn't cry about how unfair life was. They just went to work. Where in that statement was skin color mentioned? If I state that I am a black man does that change your perception of what I just stated? Humans are not comfortable with environments that present differences to what they know. You can train a person to overcome that that but it takes maturity. There are many examples of majority privilege by white on white and black on black. Why didn't Bro. Decker bother to mention Black lives mater in his rant. The truth is, most people (whites) treat other people (black, red, brown, yellow...) kindly. Do unkind things get said? Of course. But not because of the color of your skin! If skin color is brought up it is an attempt by the instigator to cut into the opponent by any means available. As a society, we should be able to quit using skin color as a weapon. As a church, we need to teach love for one another, lift where you stand, and turn the other cheek. The restored gospel is here! God expects us to make covenants and live true to them. Someday Jesus Christ will lead the majority. Will that make him suddenly bad? Trying to guilt someone into action is counterproductive. What privileges did Bro. Decker exercise to educate himself and produce this article? As a minority, I should be given his place!

DeborahAugust 17, 2017

Thank you! This is much needed. It is only in the past few years that I have understood about white privilege, and you have put into words some of the things I have been feeling. I'm going to save your article for use with my good, but oblivious, friends.

KevinAugust 17, 2017

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and thoughts on this subject. It has penetrated deep into my heart. I hope that I can be a better man because of what I've learned, to LISTEN, and to truly be a brother to those of other races - to be like Jesus Christ. Again, thank you!

Geoff SteurerAugust 17, 2017

Well done! Thank you for your courage in exploring this delicate, but critical issue. This is one I'll save and review.

Rodney RossAugust 17, 2017

Amen brother!

Marilyn ZAugust 17, 2017

I believe the article is well written and the comments are valid. I believe most intelligent, well meaning Latter Day Saints believe in equality but so many of us live in a small world. I also believe that we are exposed though media to examples of extreme behavior on the part of minorities that increase our fears and distrust. I wish for every rant we would have an example of positive behavior. I am eighty-five and have seen the many changes that have taken place and I am grateful for them. I can see where we have a long way to go and I pray that those moderate voices can be heard along with those that rant and preach hatred.

EAugust 17, 2017

What a fantastic explanation. Thank you!

JoopAugust 17, 2017

I fully agree with the contents of this article. The reason for writing the article was the violence that followed the Charlottesville extreme rightwing march. I feel however that the article was mainly addressed to the message these extremists were carrying, namely to "..you will not replace us". There was, however, more going on there. Putting the emphasis on the ideas of one side only is good to correct the attitude of that side, but does not address the correctness of the discussion which followed and which left the impression that what was wrong in Charlottesville was only that. There were a few other things which were just as wrong as that. In an article trying to lay the finger on the sore spot of what happened there, from a Mormon perspective, there is more that needs to be addressed, because there were more sore spots. The first other sore spot was the direct responsibility of the local government, and specifically the mayor as the prime responsibility holder for public order. He should have kept the two fighting sections apart from each other, he did not so, even worse, the police ordered the KKK-Alt-right and White supremacists from the square where they were standing into the streets lined by the counter-demonstrators, thus asking for the trouble, which unfortunately did happen. So the mayor bears a heavy responsibility for what went wrong. Secondly, acts of hate and violence were not only performed by right-wing-extremists, but just as much by the "other-side". My point is that when adressing a situation, all aspects need to be taken into account, we should not leave giving the impression that only one side was wrong. Only then the roots of the evil which was mentioned in the article (in short: lack of Christian attitude and behaviour) can be addressed and promoted. Only then the impression left behind is not that only one thing caused what went wrong.

Curt BurnettAugust 17, 2017

One of the most important, inspired and timely essays I've ever read. It would be wonderful if Jonathon were invited to be a guest speaker at the next General Conference. Like when Eliza R. Snow revealed inspired lyrics about Mother in Heaven and President Taylor, I believe, declared them to be "inspired doctrine." So now we need specific ideas on how to restructure our laws and institutions to eliminate bigotry and abusive majority/white oppression. We also need further introspection about other situations where white/male/heterosexual privilege is causing us to fall short of treating all people as equals with equal privileges and standing before our Heavenly Parents.

VickieAugust 17, 2017


EAugust 17, 2017

Wow! Thank you for this excellent explanation of white privilege. I hope it opens many eyes.

Blaine MartinsenAugust 17, 2017

I agree with Brother Decker. He stated our case well. There is much going on in our country that is not right. Charlotesville is a good example. The hatred being shown is palpable. I promise I'll do all I can to stand up for what's right. I also agree with the stated positions of the L.D.S. Church. Our leaders speak for me.

lane vanceAugust 17, 2017

The Missouri persecutions and extermination order took place in the 1830s.



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