Fun Fact I am a white person who benefits from white privilege.
When I was a younger woman my family always used to say (yes they are something akin to poor white trash, but you would think we were the 1% given how they looked down on people of color)… “You will always pick the black people’s side.” This used to make me mad when I had little understanding why I felt so differently than they did. I wasn’t picking black people’s side. Damn it, I thought this isn’t about sides. As I have grown older and become more mature I can formulate what side I am taking. I am taking the side of SOCIAL JUSTICE and Equality. I am taking the side for human dignity and decency.
A few days back I posted a video to Facebook called “What kind of Asian are you? with the comment “Oh she told him. There is that white privilege again!”
Sadly the comments some of my white friends made are very telling about how some people (white people) tend to not get it when it comes to systemic racist behavior on the part of some people (white people). Why would my ability to understand what is right before my eyes be equated with being black and the child of slaves? Where does that type of defensive comment come from? (Yes my little pretties that is a racist comment coming from a racist heart, please check yourself.) I flat out call bulls**t. That type of comment sadly shows how oblivious and yes flat out racist the commenter is. Is there any truth to the presumption that it is a black child of slave thing to see how the dialog in this video shows racism and white privilege.
Why is protesting against this type of poor behavior and attitudes equated with looting and destroying business to have “my struggle” heard? To be clear, I don’t agree with looting and destroying it simply doesn’t help matter. However, I have called for disruption on many occasions. Let us focus on what brings people to the point where rioting in the streets is becoming a common response to the never ending stream of police brutality in this country.
I need to preface the following comment by saying I am speaking metaphorically. Sometimes you have to burn it all down to rebuild it. If tearing at the heart of the systemic racism that pervades our society makes me akin to a black person and the child of slaves so be it. Call me whatever you want, call me Ishmael but don’t be hurt when I call you a racist.
Let me end with Du Bois. I like to end with Du Bois. I can begin with Du Bois, I end with Du Bois. Du Bois, when he wrote his doctoral dissertation, 1896, on the suppression of the African slave trade. And he ended up with a kind of coda at the end, talking about the essentials of the struggle. And the last, absolute last, section is called, “Lessons for Americans.” And he ends up saying, this is his conclusion: “It behooves the United States therefore, in the interest both of scientific truth and of future social reform, carefully to study such chapters of her history as that of the suppression of the slave trade. The most obvious question which this study suggests is, “How far in a state can a recognized moral wrong safely be compromised?” And although this chapter of history can give us no definite answer suited to the ever varying aspects of political life, yet it would seem to warn any nation from allowing, through carelessness and moral cowardice, any social evil to grow. No persons would have seen the Civil War with more surprise and horror than the revolutionists of 1776, yet from the small and apparently dying institution of their day arose the walled and castled slave power. From this, we may conclude that it behooves nations as well as men to do things at the very moment when they ought to be done.” And I’m going to leave you with that. — Prof Joh Bracey