Rather than post here, I’m using social media to amplify Black Lives Matter (#defundthepolice #truthandreparations) and to share resources for white people who are educating themselves about historical racism, racist institutions and policies, and what whiteness entails.
Here, I’ll just share this, from the wise and powerful adrienne maree brown (about whom I wrote here)
What I love most about this is this repeated phrase “where we are born into..” — pointing to the fact that each of us almost certainly has BOTH experiences of BOTH PRIVILEGE and STRUGGLE. The more we can feel into both of these truths, the more we can connect with others.
Humans have a tendency to focus on the struggle part (suffering, oppression, marginalization) and many of us tend not to accept the privileged parts. “I’m not privileged! I have to work hard,” etc etc.
There are always situations in which even the most powerless of us has power over another. That is a moment of privilege. And if we allow ourselves to remember the choices we made when we tasted privilege, we can empathize with those who taste privilege a lot.
It’s the same way when we taste suffering– and I don’t think it’s important if it’s the same kind of suffering, or same amount of suffering—- did she suffer more being raped, or did he suffer more being beaten by police?–comparisons/ranking is not helpful–we can remember what it felt like and connect to someone else in their suffering.
And since every one of us has suffered at some point, all of us are charged with spending at least some of our time reclaiming joy and liberation.