HOW I LEARNED ABOUT MY WHITE PRIVILEGE
I'm seeing a lot of frustrating things on social media right now. Dems voicing their fears about oppression and loss of freedom, answered by Reps calling them babies. Reps lecturing about losing and "participation trophies" answered by rants about misogyny and racism. Family members arguing. Name calling. Nobody listening. Nobody learning.
- •I've always been a liberal. This is how easy it is to be for social equality and yet blind at the same time.
- •I thought, "I don't have white privilege because I don't hate people of color."You know those people— "I have black friends!" "Indian food is my favorite." "I can get by only speaking Spanish." "I'm dating an Asian guy!"
- •At the university I attend, you have to take a class called Intro to Diversity as a prerequisite for an education degree.It's a real pain in the ass to have to write a think-piece essay every week while also attending chemistry labs, doing field work at a local high school, and working nights.
- •On the first day we were given homework to read Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, and to make a note, responding to each point with agree/disagree.
- •Second day of class we stood in a bunch, invading each others personal space, in the hallway.Our professor gave us the instruction to take a step left if our answer is "agree," step right if "disagree."
- •There was one male in the class. He was white. He was a total hippie, and he threw himself into this class fully. But there he was, at the end of the fifty statements, all the way at the far left end of the hallway.
- •A little ways down were myself and most of the other white women.The statements are focused on race, but gender and sexuality slip their influence in some questions.
- •Then two gay white women.
- •Latinas, asians, and mixed races.
- •Black women. All the way at the right.
- •My white privilege was visualized.Through scenarios I never even considered! Arguing with a coworker, buying a greeting card, moving into a new apartment.
- •At 28 years old I saw it despite so many years of knowing that it's wrong to discriminate, and thinking I'm okay because I don't discriminate.
- •It can't be described in anger. Especially not to someone who isn't listening. I'm sorry.
- •It can't be communicated through violent protest to people who think they have done nothing. I'm sorry.
- •Unless there is inward reflection and discourse, learning is not taking place. For that I am so sorry.
- •On this day I learned that I have white privilege, I can't be rid of it, and the best thing to do is acknowledge it, know that others are at a disadvantage, and stand against it.
- •I hope this helps someone.