More Thoughts on White Privilege

I’ve had many thoughts on white privilege lately. This is in addition to those admissions I made earlier (here). In no particular order…

  • I’ve identified some hallmarks of white privilege
    • Ability to provide simple answers to complex matters. (i.e. “He shouldn’t have pushed that store owner.”)
    • Propensity for nitpicking details of an occurrence while disregarding larger trends that lead to such occurrences. (i.e. playing the he-said she-said game while disregarding the injustice of racial profiling)
    • Twisting verbage to disempower a group you don’t like. (i.e. Responding to #blacklivesmatter with #alllivesmatter, which allows the responder to feel good for being technically right while missing the larger point of the original statement. This is another form of nitpicking details to disregard a larger matter.)
    • Compulsion to answer rather than affirm. (i.e. Being unable or unwilling to affirm that #blacklivesmatter answering instead with #alllivesmatter. This allows the answerer to remain in superficiality while others cry for justice out of a deep pain.)
  • White privilege allows me to ignore or never learn about institutionalized racism. The racism of the 1940’s was characterized by hot rage and violent lynchings. Racism today doesn’t live in the emotions of white America, but in the policies and behaviors perpetuated by the institutions that white America runs. I can feel great every time I hear the I Have a Dream speech while completely ignoring the fact that my local police department monitors my neighbors based on their color, accent, ethnic clothing, etc.
  • Institutionalized racism divides white people from ourselves.
    • Those who run the institutions have a certain culpability to the racist practices of these institutions. Meanwhile, I get the benefit of that institution’s work without getting my hands dirty. I’m culpable insofar as I am aware. I am aware. But it’s easy to not be aware.
  • White America is the missing link indisempowering white privilege.
    • Black and Brown America has raised their voices and raised the consciences of many others. It’s time for white America to do the hardsoul searching and be part of the solution that ends the disparities our neighbors are experiencing.
      • There may be some enlightened in the liberation movements of the 20th century which argued that oppressors rarely give up being oppressors. That may be the case. It may ALSO be the case that now is a time to change that narrative.
    • White people of conscience need to create avenues to enlighten others to the scourge of institutionalized racism. We also need to create safe and effective means for dealing with one’s privilege. It’s time we become part of the solution.
  • I am beginning to think about white privilege as a disease akin to alcoholism. I’ve played with the idea of a 12-step program for disempowering white privilege, but I’m not sure yet.

What about you?

One comment

  1. due to white privilege it’s easy for white people of conscience to feel like they are doing a good thing by speaking for a minority group, but really it’s only enforcing another problem.

    I think your last point could be a great solution :]

    Like

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