Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Isn't classism just as much a lower class problem?

Yes and No! Whenever I talk about prejudice, I hear people say, 'But its also a problem for the lower classes.' This is true, but also misleading.

One the one hand, all unloving attitudes are wrong, and all untruths are wrong.
But on the other hand, the level of power you wield with those attitudes is very significant.
This is why some people define power as a necessary component for true racism (my view is a bit different but that's a whole other convo!).

Notice how the Bible is full of condemnation about those with power being unfair to those without power. This topic is missed out a lot in British preaching, but its all over the Bible. However, the Bible doesn't say much about so called inverted classism. Class prejudice is not a symmetrical sin amongst the classes.

What does this mean for us in the UK? I think it means we need to consider how much power we have. And the more power we have, the more aware we need to be of implicit and explicit bias. Because the leader of church group that has lots of sway and resources is not the same as the homeless bloke in a small church. Both people will have implicit bias, but one will have much more serious consequences than the other. We want both people to have a humble other person centred attitude, but we recognise the church leader could be causing much more harm.

A little note on Centering:
Its interesting when you read American literature on racism to see how white people often center the conversation around themselves. Similarly, in the UK, its common to see those with more power centre class conversations around themselves. This centering tends to either be, 'Well I'm offended by you talking about this,' or 'well I'm actually really down with the culture, I've got black friends!' If we look at the Bible though, correct 'centering' on those with more power tends to be more along the lines of 'you need to repent of how you don't really care about those poorer than you.'

Next time, I'll write about how I try to deal with my own bias.....