My whiteness gives me unearned privileges to be seen in society and heard and to succeed. A good education is almost guaranteed. Or living in a neighborhood with little crime — It’s an ‘unearned white privilege thing’.
I can walk into a story and not be followed as if I’m going to steal something. I’m not bragging when I say, ‘I can pretty much go anywhere and do anything’ without getting a sideways glare. It’s an ‘unearned white privilege thing’.
I was born into a monopoly run by my skin color of white supremacy: government and schools, housing and jobs – my unearned white privilege is an inherited system to get ahead. Even though segregation has ended – it’s still here. Look at our jails. ‘Them. They. Those people.’ The stealthy side swipe, backhandedness of white supremacy permeates in the air. It is where the snickers and glances of ‘those-poor-black-people are lesser and different.” It crushes me to hear.
I was born white and given rights and in the hospital, sleeping right next to me may have been a brown-black baby girl – same day, same year — and not given those rights.
Why? Why? Why? Racism is deadly. White supremacy is deadly. Add in classism and elitism – the compounded threats are evil.
When I close my eyes at night, I walk the streets in my mind how is it, ‘I can’ because the color of my skin? And those born of color can’t? Untwisting the corrosive, blatant, discriminating, tarnished, deceptive coloring of lies is something I can do with my unearned white privilege.
Little by little, I will touch the cornerstones of those near, neighborhood and surrounding community and even stretch farther to use my unearned white privilege in the words I plant here.
With much respect & love, Carolyn