I’ve learned that my white privilege has allowed me to be incredibly ignorant and believe that I wasn’t complicit in the atrocities of racism people of color experience constantly.
My white privilege has allowed me to think that I was better than and more evolved than outspoken racists, white supremacists, the alt right, Trump supporters, etc. I was so busy being shocked and offended by their terrible behavior and I had the privilege of not being aware of or acknowledging my own terrible, ignorant behavior.
I’ve learned that my denial and unconsciousness of my advantages, benefits, entitlements and choices afforded me by my white privilege has served to uphold white supremacy and created violence and trauma for people of color in my life. I thought I understood white privilege before. I did not get it at all. It was my white privilege that allowed me to think a surface understanding of a “backpack of privileges” was sufficient.
I thought myself to be a peaceful, loving person standing up for equality, love and racial equity. I’ve missed the mark by a long shot. It’s 100% my responsibility to continually educate myself by listening, reading and researching ways that my unchecked white privilege continually harms people of color. It is my duty as a compassionate human to work harder to cut it out, check my privilege, and find more effective ways to be a co-conspirator against white supremacy and all the ways ignorance of my white privilege has worked to uphold it.
I’ve learned that there’s no time for being shocked, overwhelmed, crying or feeling guilty. It’s not helpful or a good use of energy. Only timely right action, education and dedication to dismantling white supremacy. My prayer is to move forward with increasing awareness and find the unique ways that I am built to use my life to effect change and cease my support of all systems that keep white people privileged and suppress, exploit and destroy people of color.
This is in response to Layla Saad‘s 28 Day You & White Supremacy Instagram Challenge. @wildmysticwoman
Question for Day 1: “What have you learnt about ‘You & White Privilege?’ As in what have you learned about you and YOUR specific white privilege, how it shows up, how you hold on to it, how you use it (consciously or unconsciously) against people of colour. Tell us about how you benefit from it and how you have held onto that benefit (despite knowing the harm it does). What have you learnt about the ways you specifically wield this privilege that do harm (whether or not you intended it). Dig deep. No sugar coating and no focusing on the good you have done with your privilege (remember this isn’t about being self-congratulatory). What have you learnt about your white privilege that makes you uncomfortable?” – Layla Saad