Do you understand White Privilege now?
This morning my a good friend and blogger at Coffee Party USA tagged me on an article she came across on Facebook. Ironically the author of the article, Denise Oliver-Velez, is a friend and a colleague. We are both DailyKOS contributing editors.
The title of the article is probative, "Just 'being' black is a crime." It is a good read as it illustrates the gravity of the problem. I shared the article on my Facebook wall and had an interesting dialogue in the comments with a friend.
DDM As long as folks believe that black people are protected with nondiscrimination laws that light bulb moment will not happen. I recently had a conversation with a well educated neighbor who couldn't understand why race was even mentioned in the HERO prop since "it's been against the law to discriminate based on race for years. they are already protected" I'm sorry but that is the mind set of MANY white people. That, unfortunately, is the reality.
Egberto Willies DDM That is why you must and have been a great ally. You hear things I won't in generally. Also you have an entry to the minds of some I wouldn't. We need folks like you to multiply yourself to create more allies, folks who really believe in social justice, equality, etc.
DDM thanks, Egberto. I DO try 🙂 I just think it's time for our side to get real and stop spending so much time in the echo chamber. "Being right" doesn't mean a damn thing if voters aren't listening. I think living where we do gives us a great opportunity to get into the minds of these "other" voters. Think about the hundreds of hours we've spent talking to folks at the polls. You know how easy it is to get people to open up if they think you are interested. And if you look like them (like I do) it's REALLY easy.
Egberto Willies You are so right. That is why if you notice inasmuch as I am a staunch and devoted Democrat I try to engage all sides. And genuinely understand where they are coming from. I find that it opens up many times thought altering dialogue.
Then came the video above. It spoke directly to what DDM and I were alluding to. The aggrieved black woman had a 'white' ally that did something she couldn't.
Too many remain locked in their corners. Too many choose not to attempt to view issues through the lens and realities of others. There are many reasons why. Inherited guilt. Cultural fear. A false sense of superiority challenged. "I may be ... but at least I am not ...." Fill in the blank.
If ask every white person reading this, put yourself in the role of the black woman after experiencing that treatment immediately preceding the treatment received by her sister-in-law. Imagine living that day in and day out. What would it do your level of confidence. What would it do to your level of self.
Many of us overcame the disrespect and injustice and at times used it to make us better. Better because good is never enough. Others simply acquiesce and live down to the expectations of others.