“I blame the White House for encouraging white supremacy. Yes. That is correct.” ~ Glennon Doyle
I sign up for the Army of Light. Send me into the Darkness.
Hold me accountable for my whiteness, for being a blind witness and an unknowing accomplice. Because white privilege told me I was a princess.
I didn’t have to look hard at hard things. I could cut racism out of my life, set it safely on the sidelines, see it on TV, and bitch about it as if that made me more than part of the problem.
I held my head high because I dated, loved, and developed friendships with black people.
Like a man thinks he understands women’s plight because he slept with them, even loved and lived with the special ones.
A man cannot know what it means to walk as a woman. Let me not forget I walk as a privileged, protected, white woman. Because we played into the hands of white patriarchy throughout history.
Played victim to blackness so white men would rescue us. Not me! Alright. All white.
Amy Cooper connected us to George Floyd in ways we don’t want to see.
Not me! Using emotions for power.
Emmet Till. Emmet Till. Emmet Till. STILL.
Amy revealed us. Despicable.
Of course, I judged her for doing something I’d never do. You’d never.
Place blame. Play victim. Avoid responsibility.
Fragile. Damsel in distress. White woman. White witness.
White lies we tell ourselves and pretend we’ve helped bridge the gap of racism, simply because we don’t exercise it ourselves.
I would never make the call Amy Cooper made. My privilege lies in the fact that I could.
With freedom comes responsibility. Can we see others don’t share our freedoms? Not in this country.
Could Christian Cooper have called the police on a belligerent white bitch? It’s laughable.
Who is the victim? Who gets blamed? Who gets killed? Does it make it better when we say, “African American,” Karen?
We’re all Karens, even if we’re not abusing our power like Amy. Let’s stop pretending the color of our skin doesn’t offer us protection. Just because we’d never make that racist, life-threatening call doesn’t make us reliable allies.
Until we do something, our anti-racist values are as good as dollar bills kept in a shoebox under the bed.
When will we do our white work? When will I do my white work? What does that mean? I vow to learn.
Is what’s happening in our country enough to wake us up? Now what?
Can I and all the other Karens watch the entire video of George Floyd without whining, “It’s just too hard for me to watch”?
Our privilege allows us not to. We haven’t really been looking for a long-damned time.
We don’t want to watch George Floyd be murdered by a white man with all the power, granted by much more than a badge, but a society—that’s us—who repeatedly insists the black men killed somehow deserve it.
We tell ourselves, because our white privilege allows us to, that the police are just doing their job, that most cops are good.
Most cops are good. My nephew is a good cop.
None of this negates systematic racism in multiple departments throughout our country and history. It’s not like that now, we tell ourselves.
White women, we’ve always had the privilege of looking away. Let’s not.
What’s possible if we look at our privilege? What’s possible if we stop pretending everything is ok?
It’s uncomfortable. We might feel guilt or shame. Good. Now we’re getting somewhere.
In order to be part of the solution, we must stop being part of the problem. We’re part of the problem when we refuse to see it.
Like the boss who refuses to see his employee act as a bully or engage in sexual harassment, right under his nose.
We were blind. Now, will we see?
Look. Watch the entire video—not the short version—of George Floyd being sacrificed for us to wake up.
Why do people riot? Why do they turn violent?
Partly because over and over and over and over for the entire history of our country we, the Karens, played along, sitting in our comfortable positions holding up white patriarchy by refusing to look.
I sign up. I don’t know anything, yet. I’m willing to learn to act on the values I profess.
Use me, God. Let me look and see. Let me listen and hear. Let me use my whiteness for something good.
5 thoughts on “My White Privilege Told Me I Was a Princess.”
R.I.P George Floyd
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The coronavirus is no respecter of skin colour, and that’s bad enough, isn’t it? But the viruses in our minds about racial differences is–and is much worse! We can die from that while still on our feet, looking good. I’m grieving…
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So true, Shelagh.
Thank you so much for writing this . . . sharing immediately!
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Thank you, Sonia. I appreciate that.