I posted this on my FB earlier, but I’d like to elaborate here. I think this is a really informative read and as white people we need to go into it with an open mind.
Just as the article says, it’s hard for us to accept criticism as a group instead of as individuals. I have been fighting to not be lumped into groups for most of my life, but in some cases I still am. Generalizations about women. Generalizations about fat people, or fat women specifically. Generalizations about living in the south, about having unnaturally colored hair, about having visible tattoos and piercings, about being a millennial. The categories go on, but I can only imagine that these are a fraction of the categories that other races and ethnicities are put into on a daily basis, which is why racism is still so prevalent.
This country’s social structure thrives on lumping individuals together for most things. For marketing, for statistical research, and for neighborhood classifications, official or not. Living in Savannah, I can attest to the fact that crime is concentrated in poor areas, which are almost exclusively inhabited by black people. People, mostly white people, are warned to steer clear of these areas unless they want to be a victim of crime. Some would argue that it’s strictly class-related and has nothing to do with race, but they are so intertwined BECAUSE of racial structures, that you can’t really talk about one without the other.
I didn’t grow up with a ton of money. I currently work two jobs and am severely in debt. My boyfriend also didn’t grow up with a ton of money and we’ve both worked hard to get where we are today, despite it not being enough to afford to live the way we want to. We don’t like being told that the system supports us, because it doesn’t feel like we’re supported. But we are, even with our 3 combined jobs and side work. It’s taken me a very long time to accept that, because it’s a hard thing to be confronted with, but it has to be done for anything to change. I try to welcome conversations about race, and even push for it sometimes. It makes people uncomfortable even when a white person brings is up. But I don’t know any other way to address it.
As white people, I feel we need to accept that the system supports us as the norm, so we can work to change it. It doesn’t make you a horrible person for admitting that. It doesn’t even make you a racist. You didn’t consciously choose for it to be that way, but that’s the way it is because of generations of systematic racism. People of all races can understand that, but you have to be willing to admit it first.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/29UU4CW