Yet another blog for spewing. This one may end up with a lot of religious and social content.

2013-07-14

The True "White Man's Burden"

The white man's burden is his (her) privilege, racism, and unwillingness to stop others from acting on these things.  Whites, including me, have the burden of a great weight of history to shed, the habits of generations to unlearn.

Minorities, especially POC, can't "undo white privilege" by themselves, and they shouldn't have to. They didn't make it, they don't benefit from it, and they don't own it.

We do. So fixing it is our responsibility.

We have to bear this burden to:
  • undo our own racism, 
  • unmake our automatic, assumed privilege,
  • unwind those old tapes and habits from our youth and culture,
  • treat minorities (those who do not have our particular privilege) fairly and equally,
  • correct our peers who haven't unlearned bigoted asshole behavior,
  • establish a culture of respect for others, even if they aren't our "tribe", demographic, or don't share our privilege,
  • call out bigotry, racism, sexism, etc.,
  • make the world a better place for everyone by practicing inclusion without appropriation,
  • understand that minorities may not want to be around us and our unconscious assumption of privilege and superiority,
  • not derail, diminish, tone police, or otherwise try to negate a minority discussing their own experiences,
  • not assume stereotypical behavior out of minorities we see on the street, and not treat people like two dimensional stereotypes,
  • practice empathy, even if their experience is different than our own, listen and try to understand,
  • stop killing or imprisoning those who are not privileged for the 'crime' of lacking privilege, or the 'crime' of existing.
I'm sure there are more, and some of these may be rooted in privilege.  The white man's burden now is to lay down the old, historical "burden", to see and set aside that privilege.

I don't expect it to be easy. Our ancestors set it up to maintain itself.

But if we honor our gods and our humanity, then we must stop negating the humanity of others,

The memory of people like Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin demands that we do so.

1 comment:

Dawn Love said...

While I wholeheartedly agree with your ideas here, I don't see this coming to pass any time soon. Too many revel in their privilege, feel totally justified to embrace it. The ones who have the real power to make true change are in the government. In other words, old rich white guys who still hold the opinion they are superior. It is a disgusting attitude that will not go away until we white people are no longer the majority. Or at least no longer the financial majority.