I’ve been walking around thinking about all of the big conversations that are beginning to take place in this country: equalities for everyone (I am constantly gobsmacked that this is even an issue!); transparency; integrity, etc. I wrote the other day about the conversation my oldest son and I had after watching Black Panther. Previously—I don’t know how previously—probably during the Trump/Hillary campaign “season,” I found myself feeling frustrated with the term “white privilege.” Then angry. Then defensive. How dare people suggest I’m privileged! They don’t know where I’ve come from or where I’ve been.
But this term continued to pop up and even though I felt defensive, I kept turning it over in my mind, until I began to consider that I was missing something. If so many people of color were so quick to throw this around, maybe they meant something by it that I was missing. I continued to think about it (along with all of the other incredible thoughts floating around in my head). Then one day, it clicked. And here is what I would like to share with my voice—a voice that would be considered white by society: aside from any extreme views, I don’t believe that white privilege is meant to be an attack on me personally. It is not someone pointing his or her finger at me and telling me that I have done something wrong or inappropriate. It is someone pointing out to me that simply by virtue of my outward appearance, I most likely have doors open to me that someone of color might not. All things equal, my color gives me opportunity. I cannot argue with that because that has been a part of the American fabric since it’s founding. It is unfortunate; it is sad; it has long overstayed its welcome. So my white voice just wants to say that I finally get it. I no longer feel defensive about what I haven’t done wrong. I also will not accept responsibility for other people’s actions and choices. But I get it, and to my neighbors and my country, I want you to know that I will always stand for what I believe in, and that is that we are all human with equal worth*.
*Just to be clear, cuz I’m all about me being me: we all have equal worth—except for vile perpetrators. I mentioned that in a previous post, but thought I should mention it again. I don’t want to be mistaken for being…soft. My kindness has limits.