The Common Good
April 2009

Color-Free Language

by Chris Budden | April 2009

It is sad to see that in an otherwise excellent editorial (“A New Faith Coalition,” January 2009), Jim Wallis reinforces racist discourse.

It is sad to see that in an otherwise excellent editorial (“A New Faith Coalition,” January 2009), Jim Wallis reinforces racist discourse. The foundation of racist discourse in my country and the United States is that white is normal and without color. It just is, and everything else is measured against that normalcy. To speak of “Christians of color” is to buy into that discourse, because it assumes that we will know that this is a reference to people who are not white. But white is a color, it is not the measure of normalcy, and others are not to be judged in relation to that “whiteness.”

We—in both our countries—need to find another language that does not assume some false normalcy in whiteness and allows us to speak of who people are in themselves and not measured against some other standard or opposite.

Chris Budden, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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