I came across a well-intentioned white lady today and what she said sounded so typical that I just had to write out a response.
To the very nice but clueless white woman that told me the following, My answer is...........
I was raised to treat all people the same regardless of their color. My belief in Jesus says that we are all the same and by telling me that I have privilege when I have worked hard for everything I have, creates a division between the races which is not what Martin Luther King would have wanted. I have no control over what happens in your life or what you benefits you receive. As long as you work hard, you will do better.
I appreciate your stance but do you even realize the privilege that you have in order for you to be able to say that with conviction?
This isn’t about division, it was never about creating a division because that division has always been there.
It’s about us, Black people, finally getting our due because it’s ours, not because someone has decided we should have it.
The freedoms that you enjoy are because of your privilege, our freedoms are because someone else let us have them only to the extent that they feel comfortable with.
We are still relying on the generosity of a system that was literally created to break our bodies, our souls, and our wills until we were no longer of use and then we were disposable like a piece of trash.
So what you’re saying is nice and sounds plausible in a perfect world, which is where it sounds like you think we both live. But your world and my world are further apart then your rose-colored glasses can see.
I'm still fighting for the right to be seen as an actual human being with positives and negatives just like you, rather than a caricature that society has created in its mind.
So how about rather than you telling me how to be most effective in my own skin, sit down, observe the world around you from a different perspective. A vulnerable and tentative, slightly weary from 400 years of hate forced upon you, kind of perspective.
And then maybe you can understand about 10 minutes in our shoes.
One tired and slightly annoyed mixed chick