February 22, 2013
recuerda mi corazon.
Raw hurtful feelings
My heart aches for true justice
All those that conquer
It’s not supposed to happen. A person with white skin from the white race isn’t supposed to complain about racism to a person that is Black or Indigenous Native American, I’m being told, in a discussion that I entered into. They said I wouldn’t know anything about it and that I shouldn’t have hurt feelings at what was said because I am White.
What was said was pretty straight forward and simple. Someone was mistreated at work. They did some work and someone else, who was sloughing off all day long and tends to do so on a regular basis while on the job, took credit for it.
The person that was mistreated, a Native American, in his complaint, said, “Some white guy” did it. I wondered if he thought the guy did it because he was White. I wondered if this mistreated person thought that all White people did these things. I wondered if this person did these things to everyone or just minorities. I wondered if the word White even needed to be used to describe what happened.
I also wondered if people that have been a victim of racism measured their experiences with other minorities that have experienced racism. Like the Jews in Nazi Germany versus the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears, who had it worse? Whose persecution was harder to endure?
Maybe these people are right. Maybe I have no basis for defending myself as a White man because I don’t get a daily dose of discrimination and racist hatred thrown at me on a regular basis. Maybe. I don’t know. But I see it done to others and I know it to be wrong.
What I do know, is that I don’t do things, or say things, to people based on the color of their skin or their race. I also know that I didn’t choose to be white skinned when I was born. Whatever higher power or natural event that created us as human beings never gave me or anyone else a choice as to what race or color we would be. The decision was out of my hands.
I know that in America, white men have privilege. Many White folks don’t understand this concept. I am fully aware of it. There is nothing that I can do about having this privilege. I can’t get rid of it. I wish I could, but I have not figured out a way to get rid of white privilege.
It just makes me feel terrible that some people insist that they must mention the race and skin color of someone that did something. They make it part of the conversation, then tell me that they are not racist. I just want Peace.
Peace and Justice for all