Brilliantly written, well said, spot on.
I’ve written about this in a few articles — but from a different perspective. I’m white, I used to be implicitly racist, I never understood white privilege because I didn’t have any other lens in which I could view it from. I won’t say that they don’t exist, but I tend to recognize them better and can tear apart the foundation they’re built upon rather easily.
A good example of this predominantly white culture pushing its ideals onto others is how people handled Cam Newton’s celebrations last year, or Colin Kaepernick’s situation right now. They didn’t like it because it’s different than how white people view themselves (dignified and above the fray if you will). When people pointed to race they immediately went “no no no, we like Russell Wilson!”. This was a slap in the face to me, I saw it right then — they like Russell Wilson because he’s a black guy who “acts white” in the eyes of white people.
I think the most disappointing thing about learning this is seeing how entrenched and encoded racism is into our cultural identity. It’s so deeply embedded that we don’t even recognize it, we can’t see it. This makes eradicating such ignorant ideas almost impossible — that’s not me being pessimistic just me coming to that realization of just what kind of task is out there. The pessimist in me sees the tension coming to a head before it dissipates, I hope not but it seems more logical to come first and for good reason quite frankly.
I may be too far gone to truly eliminate these tendencies, I’m trying to work on it but I just don’t know. But I don’t want to pass those on — to anyone, especially my kids. So I will do everything in my power to give them less of a “white culture” and more culture in general.
But the scary thought is, how much free will do we truly have? It seems more and more that we are simply products reacting to our surroundings in predictable ways rather than beings reacting with objective reasoning and thought. That’s really unfortunate.
Great job, thanks for sharing.