Let me ask you a question. Do you truly care about justice and equality for all persons regardless of their religion, gender, sexual orientation, or race? If your answer is yes, and you really mean it, instead of just saying it, then it is time to stand up, and speak up. There is so much going on in the US right now that is to put it bluntly bullshit. Intolerance and injustice of all kinds. While there is a lot of work to be done, I believe that the first step must be for those of us with any kind of traditional privilege to speak up and acknowledge all the myriad ways in which our lives are made easier (and often by contrast the lives of others made harder) because of a system that is designed to make life easier for certain kinds of people.
The problem in the past around privilege is that far too often the statements come from those on the wrong side of privilege, and whether we like it or not, it often results in those observations not being listened to. Because nobody likes feeling attacked, and blamed for things that are largely beyond their control. None of us asked to be born the way we are. So what we need to do is learn to name and own our privilege. Not in a mealymouthed kind of apologizing way. But rather in a way that is honest and forthright. Then maybe if we can start to see things more clearly, we can see in what ways we might be able to use that very same privilege to help create a society that is better, more just, more responsive to the needs of all people, not just a few. To that end I am suggesting that people start using hashtags like, “becauseiamwhite”, “becauseiammale” etc.
These can be used as a way to highlight deeply ingrained injustices, like for example, the fact that I can open the door to my vehicle while I’m at work and get something out of it, and no one calls the police or challenges me, #becauseiamwhite. It can also be used as a way of starting conversations about privilege. I know it’s not always easy. And I know for so many of us, life is hard, and it’s awfully difficult to feel like we have any privilege, when so much of our lives are unendingly difficult, and filled with uncertainty. But if anything is going to change for the better these are steps that we must take, and clearly if we don’t take them soon, it’s going to be too late.
Keep The Faith My Brothers And Sisters!