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Showing posts from August, 2013

White supremacy, white privilege and why is it all my fault?

Reading the open letter to white anti-racists, which was the article we chose for last weeks dialogue session, my first instinctive response was:

Surely it's not my fault that I am born white!

I had to read the article again to overcome my initial defence mechanisms and open my heart and mind to look a little deeper. What I am beginning to understand with the help of my fellow dialoguers is that it is not my fault that I am born white...
...but (and here comes a big BUT, which is a separate issue altogether from Miley's scrawny, twerking behind by the way ;-))
 ....but
once I am waking up to certain privileges and advantages that come along with being born into the "right" skin - I can no longer hide behind the "it's not my fault" excuse and have to take accountability for my continuing to rely on these privileges and advantages.

At the same time I can't be an anti racist activist:  it's not my place to represent somebody who has not asked to…

Lesson learned....?

As  my struggles continue to find a new perspective, or at the very least the lesson behind the experience, there slowly but surely seems to be a shift happening in the perceptions around me. 

While there are those stubbornly defending social conventions, reverting to the default setting from generations back, where children's bodies are not their own when it comes to adults demanding hugs or kisses from them, there is at the same time a growing awareness amongst mothers and fathers that this is the symptom of dis-ease rather than a sign of appropriate social conditioning. Other mothers are coming forward, publicly demanding that people  Stop Asking My Daughter for Kisses as they finally find a voice for the unease that has been sitting with them unacknowledged for too long. This particular mother regrets that she  has become a silent witness to her daughter's private space being invaded by relatives, friends, even strangers and how social conventions dictate that we stand by…