Yesterday I listened to White Privilege II by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis while driving to meet with a potential client. When I got there I walked into a room with 3 white men and was able to be comfortable. I don’t know these men very well right now and I’m sure if I get the opportunity to know them better than I’ll learn how good of people they are. But from the start I’m at an advantage by being a white man. I don’t feel like I’m doing a great job of talking through my privilege right now but I can certainly sense it.
When in doubt about a topic I choose silence. I haven’t known how to handle the way I feel about the injustices in this world. I definitely don’t want to glom onto a hashtag or event and claim it as my own when it isn’t. I have no idea what it is like to be a black man in America. I don’t even know what it is like to be a white woman.
I believe everyone should be treated fairly. And now that I think about it more, that means that sometimes we need to help some groups forward more to balance out other advantages. I don’t believe that helping some hurts others. Helping some helps everyone. This isn’t a zero sum game and we can all win. We are the most powerful nation on earth and we can show that through how we treat all our people, not just the fortunate.
I’m going to work on using my privilege in two ways. First, by fighting for inclusion. I want any group I’m a member of to not only accept all types of people but to seek out diversity. And second, by having tough conversations with people I know that don’t see their privilege.