Living into the 8th Principle

White as the norm, the default, permeates our society.

Movie reviews never note “an all-white cast with a white-centered narrative.” The store’s selection of makeup has no special section for white skin. I’ve yet to hear a song introduction acknowledging a “Euro-American” composer. Joyful white people in wintry scenes are standard on holiday cards and wrapping paper. 

Imagine what it feels like to grow up surrounded by images and assumptions that label you as “other” because of your skin color. 

A challenge: For one day, identify white people as white. ” I saw a white child walking a cute dog.” It is hard to break a lifelong habit.

Until about a year ago, I shared the unconscious thought that any media featuring marginalized people was for other people—and anything featuring white people was for everyone. 

UUCT’s “Centering BIPOC Voices” book group inspired me. Although I am not a member, I moved outside my comfort zone. I began with an easy step: read mysteries by Black authors. I added podcasts and tv shows created by and centering people of color. Each experience challenges my assumptions and provides different perspectives.