I hope I am…

July 29, 2015 at 2:01 PM (Uncategorized)

beginning to understand. I am white, I recognize that I have white privilege. I will say that ever since Travon Martin, ever since Ferguson, I have come to the realization  that I had a general dictionary idea of racism in my head. However, it wasn’t immediate. It wasn’t present in my head in a specific way.

I did have a different childhood than most of my suburban counterparts. I went to an integrated school for people with disabilities, and I hope that in my individual case that might have helped the way I relate to and think about people who are different from me.

I also want to say that I don’t write this post to offend or protect my tender feelings. But after so many dash cams, so much riot gear, so much excessive force,  something I would never expect  to experience  in my life ,  I hope I am beginning to understand  the amount of white privilege I have and the nature  of it.  How much safer  I am likely to be  than a person of color . How much less likely it is  that I would be targeted while driving , or just walking down the street .  As I see these things on television
I hope I am beginning to understand.

Social media, and media in general have been instrumental in showing this to a wider audience. I am grateful that they did. It makes me uncomfortable with myself. It is supposed to make me uncomfortable with myself. It is supposed to make me rethink how much I can possibly understand as an outsider about racism.

Discrimination against people with disabilities still exists in other countries and here, but it is not absolute. There are people with disabilities who tell me quite frankly that they don’t experience discrimination. It’s been quite a while since I myself did. I do talk a lot on the internet about incidents that happen to other people with disabilities and I get fired up on their behalf.

I recognize now that while doing that I also need to redirect some of my energy to silent listening to  voices of other oppression. It’s other voices that need to be heard now and I need to shut up and listen. As I listen I hope I will come to understand even further.

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