Invisible Privilege Part 2
Invisible Privilege Part 2
I appreciate the dialogue generated from my previous post. It was brought to my attention another aspect of Invisible Privilege. In Part 1 I narrowly defined the problem as doors of opportunity being open for me, a white American male, and those same doors of opportunity closed to those who did not resemble me. I never saw a “White Only,” “Colored Only” sign over a drinking fountain growing up, I was never assigned a place to sit because of my race, I was never asked to leave a restaurant because I am Valspar Praline color in the summer, but the fact that others have given me a glimpse again of my invisible privilege.
For instance, I have never been pulled over by a police officer because I was racially profiled, wrong color skin in a particular neighborhood. To my knowledge, I have never been closely watched while shopping. Even though I went to a “hick” high school, my textbooks were up to date and the facility was well cared for, the teachers were competent (well most of them anyway), because of the property taxes people in the area paid to support education, while this was not the experience of some inner-city students in Grand Rapids Michigan in the 70’s. I have never felt like I didn’t belong because of the color of my skin. (There are a couple of exceptions that occurred in Hawaii and in Korea and Japan but that’s another story).
Since I seldom if ever experienced what sociologist are calling micro-aggressions, makes it easy to dismiss the problem. Micro-aggressions are “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color”. Because of the newest racial division, “privileged white guy,” I would choose to end that forgone sentence at people—“insults toward people.” I will also end that sentence at people because it is not just “people of color,” but also women, members of the LGBT community, the elderly, millennials and Christians. The problem is across the board.
I’m beginning to see the elephant in the room. I am not sure how it got in the room, it must have grown up in the room, so I didn’t really notice it. Now the elephant is taking up too much room, the elephant is oppressive, and needs to go. In a culture of violence knocking down the wall, breaking down the entire house is the only solution for dealing with the elephant. But am I a fool in thinking that love can increase the size of the room so the elephant can walk out on its own?
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