White privilege is very real. I’m also sensing a lot of angst and guilt among white people these days.
There is a huge movement afoot to capitalize Black when referring to a person of color. The thinking is that Black people share a certain experience that sets them apart from the rest of us. And that experience is based on the color of their skin.
Racial prejudice is a very real thing too.
It seems to me removing race as an identifier would be a good first step to reducing racial prejudice. If someone wants to be identified as Somali-American, or Swedish-American, fine. No race.
Some people, regardless of their race, bring shame to the entire species. But if you look at history, and see only bad things you’ll miss a lot of good. While we're talking about white people's commitment to racial prejudice, my great-grandpa was a farmer in Wisconsin. He never owned slaves. He served in Company F, 20th Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers during the War of the Rebellion. Did you get the part about he volunteered? I've read that 2,128,948 men served in the Union Army and 178,895 of those men were Black. The rest were white or (a few) Native American. In the war, 360,222 Union soldiers died. Without their commitment slavery would have continued to exist for another generation or more. Shall we walk that back?
Abraham Lincoln, a white man, did what no president before him was willing to do. He led the United States into the War of The Rebellion in order to abolish slavery. For his efforts, he was assassinated by a white man. Shall we walk that back too?
Out of respect for their sacrifice, and consistent with my beliefs as a Christian, I owe everyone the same thing. Respect for their humanity. Nothing more. Nothing less. People who want more from me have to earn it.
I accept responsibility for my actions now. I do not accept responsibility for the acts of others generations before I was born. I’m proud of Great Grandpa Bacon, but I’m not responsible for his actions. What I am responsible for is how I deal with what those actions teach me. White people are not going away. People of color are not going away. It’s up to us to decide what we’re going to do with that sure bit of knowledge.
And if you must know, I’m a French/Irish/Belgian/German/Ottawa American. The Quote: “We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.