My White Privilege 

I don’t usually get political on this blog. As a matter of fact, loyal readers, you know that what I usually write about is quite opposite. But as events unfolded this weekend that led to unnecessary deaths, my mind has been a revolving picture show of news-feeds of the last year. And then I get on Facebook and, of course, there is a million and one debates about whether this is “Trump’s America” and all the reasons that it’s OK because when it was “Obama’s America” he didn’t denounce Islam. And I’m not political, like I said, so I can’t rattle off statistics about how much money Obama sent to Korea or why Russia and the new administration like to hold hands on the playground. And honestly, I don’t really give a shit about the political pissing contest that keeps happening. What I do give a shit about is that innocent people continue to die. What I do give a shit about is that this country is being parted down a racial divide like the red sea and there are a lot of  us standing in the middle feeling helpless. What I do give a shit about is that the majority of us who have common sense keep arguing with the minority who do not. I don’t understand why people still don’t get it. And by people, I mean white people. We (yes I’m white too) are so worried about black people being pissed off about not being treated equally, but we go into a store and a black person cuts in front of us in line and we act like the whole damn world is about to end. I don’t understand why we think the Black Lives Matter movement is racist. It’s been said a million times and it will likely be said a million more, being pro-black does not mean being anti-white. I don’t understand why white people are so fucking confused about why black people get so upset when their relatives get killed for no damn reason. I also don’t understand why people think that is fine to assume that being a Muslim equals being a terrorist. I don’t know why it is so fucking hard for us to empathize with what the fuck is going on. People are dying. Innocent people are dying. Children are dying. And we are sitting around arguing with each other about why it’s not wrong. And I get it. It’s really easy to sit around and argue when you don’t have to worry about your kid walking out of the house and being the next dead face in a long list of names being read out loud by community members. You don’t have to worry about it….. yet.

But what happens when we do? Do we really want to get to the day where maybe it’s people with red hair that are the ones being taken out, maybe it will be people who write left handed, maybe all first born children, maybe everyone with blue eyes this time. Silence is just as bad as condoning it.  I don’t understand why people think it’s not a big deal. I don’t understand why we cannot allow black people to be angry. They should be angry. We should all be angry. We should be angry that a few select people have let power go to their heads. We should be angry that after 200 years we still think that some people are inferior to us just because of the way they look. We should be angry that there are even groups of people in this melting pot of ours who are being treated as if they don’t belong here and even worse being told to leave this country……this country that they were born in too. Nobody in this country is even FROM this country, but we’ve claimed dibs on it. We’ve pissed on every tree and called this country ours like we didn’t come in from the beginning and murder to get it.

I’ve heard all the arguments that “white people get killed too” and more of them. And if I call bullshit, I’m against my own people. Even though it is bullshit.  And the truth of the matter is that all people are my people. I don’t give a shit if you are black, white, red, yellow, or even purple. If you are floating along in this world with me just trying to mind your own business and get by like I am, even if the means by which you are getting by aren’t “law abiding,” I still don’t think you deserve to die no matter what neighborhood you live in or what you look like. Maybe I take it more personally than other white people because my son is half black, but if you were to look at him, you wouldn’t be able to tell that he has my blood running through him at all. If a stranger were to look at him, he’s black. So yea, just like black mothers worry when their kids walk out the door, so do I. And there’s nothing I can do about it. I can acknowledge my white privilege and I can give him pointed advice about how to stay alive while being black in the hood, but why should any mother have to teach their kids how to stay alive? Shouldn’t we be teaching our kids how to be nice to one another? How to get along with one another? How to make macaroni and cheese for fuck’s sake?

We should be teaching our kids how to drive cars not how to pray that they live through their first traffic stop. We should be having conversations with black people about how we can help, because marching through the streets obviously isn’t working for any of us. We should be cautious of the views we are seeing on the television, because if we are to believe everything we see, then we will continue to believe that there isn’t a problem. And even from where I am sitting on this mile high wall of white privilege, there is a huge fucking problem. And there has never been a conversation that has gotten anywhere without one side being uncomfortable and as a white person, maybe we just aren’t used to feeling what that feels like. Being uncomfortable means you’re growing. Admitting when you are wrong is growth. Coming out of your safe little box and getting to know people that are not like you is uncomfortable, but it’s a necessary part of growth. I don’t know how we can fix a 200 year old problem overnight, but I do know that the more we are able to have rational conversations without name calling, the better off we will be. When we are able to listen to how other people feel and at least empathize with them, we will be one step closer to solving this race problem. We can’t just keep pointing the finger and telling black people they are wrong for not wanting their children and their fathers and their uncles and their mothers to die. And if we do keep it up, then shame on us!

And, black people, give some of us a break, we don’t know what it’s like to be black. That I will acknowledge, but there are a lot of us white people who really do give a shit and want equality in this world just as much as you do. So maybe let’s figure this out on a community wide level because looking toward that big white house is not going to get us anywhere.

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