This topic does cause discomfort for me. It's hard to think that I inherently have more accessibility and more chance of success due to the color of my skin, than from my work ethic, my character, etc. It's also hard to feel priviledged when you live payheck to paycheck.
I remember the protests after Trayvon Martin's death. I remember being in college at the time and not really having an opinion about it. I remember many white classmates saying "they are destroying thier own city" "this won't bring him back" "this doesn;t honor his memory." Then later we found out it was people from out of state who were doing most of the looting.
When George Floyd died and there was rioting. I thought to myself "just wait and see it won't be the locals" and it wasn't. It wasn't the protestors or people of color. It was white supremacy groups. George Floyd truly woke me up to what I was spending my pirvilege not thinking about: inequality, racism, systemic racism, police brutality. All of it. I have spent a lot of time since his death occured thinking about what my privilege is like as a white perspon. Spending time conversing with my partner about what racism looks like and the terrible sins towards people of color and native people that white europeans have committed under the guise of "manifest destiny."
I have also been thinking about where I live and how easy it is to avoid these conversation. I live in a very rural area. In my town of 400 people, there is one immigrant hispanic family and one Asian woman who is the wife of a white man. Everyone else is white. Where I attended high school I had 43 in my graduating class (which was big, by the way) and I had 3, maybe 4, black people. We had anyve 10 black people in the entire school. I feel the term "white-washed" is appropriate in my area because we have no concept of what people of color face because there just isn't a lot of people of color to talk to about it. It isn't until these events and being connected with these classmates through social media that I have begun to realize the racist experiences they had growing up with us.
Privilege is hard to talk about, but is a much needed discussion. we need to talk about how being white sets up for success when people with blakc sounding names are less likely to be hired, and more likely to be red-lined or denied mortgages than white families who make less money. That racism isn;t always overt, but often comes in systemic deep ways that makes the path to success much harder than it is for whites. It also comes with a sens e of guilt of knowing I personally have not set any of these practices in place, and don't even realize that I benefit from it most of the time.
It's a process. And I am working on it. <3