I see this has not had any new comments, a couple of days old by the looks of it…but I felt that I needed to put my two cents in for what it might be worth.
First, the issue that Chi has brought up in this article is part of a very complex and ancient set of issues that have been in our society and societies around the world for thousands of years in one form or another.
We are a product of evolution, not just physically but socially as well.
White privilege in our Country and others like our own is pretty much a given…there is no way to get around it and there is no way if you are White or look White that you are not a part of it.
Now here is where we have issues…we don’t understand what white privilege actually is in general, never mind understanding the many nuances surrounding it in relation to other races.
I’m 49 years old, and while I was raised in Canada, where it exists as well, I’m lived in the USA (my birth Country) for around 16 years and actively engaged in understanding racism and the experience of being a person of Color in the USA…and I had never heard the term until 2 years ago, never mind understanding what it actually meant.
I read an article penned by a fairly famous female author among the black community, her name escapes me at this time, but she was very open and pointed about white privilege and it bordered on offensive from my white perspective at the time.
Keeping in mind that I’d never heard the term before and really had absolutely no clue what it actually meant…I assumed a lot and those assumptions were based on my social upbringing.
No I was not taught to distinguish a person based on race, I learned to treat everyone equally until I learned that doing so based on my understandings and social upbringing was actually considered racist in many cases.
So when I treated a black gal the same as I treated a white gal, using the same language and consideration more often then not the black gal would be offended.
This is how I learned in part what was considered racism…and I was so sad and became scared to even talk to a person of color because almost every time my heart would be broken and somehow I would fall short.
That being my past I decided I better research this White Privilege issue and really try to understand it.
What I discovered is that it is how we are socialized, what we learn from the day we are born to this day…it is in our speech, in our body language, in our ambitions in fact it infiltrates everything about our experience…there is no getting around it or away from it’s effects on ourselves or our society.
I’ve come to view it more as a victimization of our socialization based on our ancestry.
We are all victims of it, no matter what race you are.
The most loving open and progressive liberal white person is effected by it, with subconscious programming running in the background, will say things and do things that would be offensive to the person of Color, not because they consciously are being disrespectful, but because their norm is different then a African American persons norm.
Which brings us to why Black Lives Matter is so important and why it’s been such an issue.
Most White folk have no idea that there is so much difference between the two communities, never mind White Privilege, so it is important to highlight the plight of so many of our Black Communities, because the information or desperation is not getting through.
Bottom line…there are a lot of really good people, white, black, Hispanic etc that are trying desperately to navigate through the muddy waters of racism, and desperately trying not to step on anyone’s toes while doing it.
In order to get through all of this, we need to make changes in our social norms…not just Whites but Blacks and other minorities too.
We must create a new norm for our kids and their kids etc…but folks it is not going to happen overnight, and while the need to point it out is absolutely there…we really have to stop being pissed because one group does not understand the other group…and start to help each other understand it…and it could take years but it will be worth it.
To be clear…there is no superior race…we are all equally important and bring to the table our unique heritage to share.