Category Archives: Privilege

How Do We Love

A number of years ago I thought I had figured out the solution to the race issue for myself.  I would go along with the mantra, “I don’t see color.”  I thought that would take care of it…but it doesn’t, it is at best a cop-out.  It was my way of saying, your life must be just like mine simply because I say it is.

Turns out, it is not that simple.  Life rarely is.

Recently, we have seen a lot of division in America.  A lot of hate.  A lot of anger.  A lot of destruction.  It is hard to see.  It is hard to acknowledge.  It is hard to understand.  It is even harder to fix.

In response, I have heard a lot of people say, “this isn’t the America I love.”  Thing is, that’s kind of like my thought above–I just won’t see color–it doesn’t work that way.  Loving America is like being a parent.

Loving America is like being a parent.  You have this child you love.  Your child is cute and sweet and has so many positive attributes, but there are behaviors and attitudes that are not so lovely.  As a good parent, you can’t just ignore the negative things your child does; you can’t just turn a blind eye and say, “well, that’s not the child I love.”  No.  As a loving parent, you will see the challenges, you will see the issues and work to help your child change, grow, and improve.  You will help them become more than they are now.  That is love.

It is the same with America.

I can’t see things in America I don’t like and ignore them.  If I truly love my country and its people, I have to choose to face the struggles, face the darkness and work.  I must work to make it better.  I must work on the spiritual level.  I must work on the cultural level.  I must work on the societal level.  If I am not willing to work on those levels, if I just want to turn my head away from what I don’t like, that is not love I am showing, it is laziness.

Is what you feel for America love or laziness?  Do you love America, and the people around you enough to be part of the change, or do you only want to wish America were different?  Will you work or wish?


My Words

Someone challenged me today to use my words, my white privilege to speak out for African American lives.  I don’t have any eloquence here, but as she pointed out, I do have my blog, so here goes.

It seems like every time I turn around a Black life is being lost where there should be due process, a legal course of action.  It seems traffic stops, too often, are ending in death.  What happened to arresting someone when they do something wrong, making sure they are safely transported to jail, and get safely to their day in court?

I fear a lot of things for my girls, I do, but I don’t have to fear their skin is the wrong color.  I don’t have to fear they will be assumed guilty before proven innocent.  I don’t have to fear those things.

Friends of mine DO fear those things.  Every day.  I see their sons as smart, funny, cute.  And that is how they should be seen. Always.  And my heart breaks for them.  They should not fear their gender, their skin.

I used to think, well, it seems these African Americans are always wearing hoodies when they are arrested, and things go wrong for them–they should just stop wearing hoodies.

Wait, back up, read that again.  Yup, my mind somehow decided it was their fault they got arrested and treated wrongly because of the style of sweatshirt they wore.  And then one day my brain stopped, and thought through that a few times.  Because of the style of sweatshirt they are wearing.

That is ridiculous.  They should be able to wear anything they damn well please, especially a sweatshirt…that of all things, should not get them in trouble.

I have white privilege.  And I’ll admit I am glad it works in my favor.  But my skin should not give me privilege.  All mothers should be able to raise their children without fear.  All women should know their husbands will come home safely.

We should all be able to walk, drive, run down the streets safely.