This is such a well written piece. Erin says what I feel and what I believe. She quotes MLK: “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” White people like me cannot pretend that all is fine and good, or that we’re good people without prejudice or even more… white privilege. We ALL are prejudiced in some way whether we are aware of it or not. Most of us don’t like to think we are, but I can think of many times when I saw someone and thought a thought that I’d rather not admit, and it came from a dark place within. A place where my almost all white upbringing left me without knowledge of people with darker skin, a place where I didn’t expect a black woman to be a physician, or that we would one day have a black president. I believe I’ve grown out of that prejudice, and yet sometimes my white girl ignorance slaps me in the face.
White privilege on the other hand is something that white people must acknowledge, and stand up for our brothers and sisters of color, protecting them when others won’t. Our voices must be raised.
When I say “protecting” I mean that we use our own white privilege to speak up regarding Black Lives Matter, Driving While Black and such. Our Black and Hispanic brothers and sisters do so as well, yet I believe until white people say ENOUGH!! ENOUGH!! Black Lives will not matter as they should. Oh for a day when we did not describe a person by his or her color of skin. Thank you Erin.
I’m scared to post this. I’m afraid of alienating people I love, people I interact with on a daily basis, people whose friendships I value. I wouldn’t say this if it hadn’t been weighing heavy, like a 50 pound weight on my tongue every time I open my mouth to say something and stop before it comes out because I don’t want to stir the pot. I don’t want anyone to be mad at me. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But I can’t, in good conscience, do that anymore.
I live with a certain degree of privilege. Monetary privilege? Not so much. But social privilege? Absolutely. I am part of a demographic that is perceived as the LEAST THREATENING to society. I’m a White Lady. Further, I’m a Southern White Lady. Still further, I’m a Heterosexual, Cis-Gender, Southern White Lady who Happens to be the Married Mother of Two…
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