[Dismantling] White Privilege : Children
3 Things You Can Do With Your White Privilege doubled my Medium readership-slash-audience in a single day! Whuuuut?!! So, I asked my network to chip in with their ideas and suggestions too. Think of this as free online course in dismantling White Privilege, brought to you in tasty little niblets of wisdom.
Here’s what Brandon D. Johnson had to say:
Teach your children and child-relatives how to behave better toward people who are different from them. That’s 101 in how not to be racist/sexist/homophobic.
Teach them not to regard anyone as lesser than them. Do not assume anything about anyone: not their ethnic background; not their ‘station’ in life; nothing about what they do.
Teach your children how to be respectful of everyone.
That begins with learning how to say, “Excuse me,” “Please,” and “Thank you.” Know when to say, “Yes, Ma’am” and “Yes, Sir” to adults. Do not assume that it is okay to address them by their first name before they are given permission. The older adults I know hate that.
Teach your children empathy.
Raise them to not find humor in other peoples’ misfortune. Using sarcasm(1), and cynicism(2) to make you feel better than someone else is a vile way of living.
Finally, being ironic(3) when you tell that racially/homophobic/sexually insensitive joke does not absolve you from appearing to be a crappy human being.
Sarcasm is the expression of a viewpoint in a way that indicates that it’s the opposite of one’s real opinion, often by tone of voice.
Cynicism is the expectation that people will only act in their own self-interest, no matter what they say their actions will be. Or that events will not turn out as well as others may say that they will.
A word heavily misused and abused in conversation today, mostly by people who think that using the word in any way will automatically make them seem intelligent. The word is usually thought to mean “coincidental” or “tragic”, when again it doesn’t mean this.
Brandon D. Johnson, like the late great Michael Jackson, is originally from Gary, Indiana, but has lived in the Washington, DC. area for the past 20 years. He is a Cave Canem alum and founding member of the Modern Urban Griots, a poetry and performance collective.
To contribute your own insights on methods to dismantle white privilege please email Natasha at natashamarin7 (at) gmail (dot) com.