If you are white, this title doesn’t sound strange to you. Many things are reserved for only you; not just if your skin is lighter but if you are male, heterosexual, cisgendered, wealthy or educated.
You have been given a privilege and… you are obligated to act.
You do not need to feel bad for being born a heterosexual male. It is not a negative thing to have been raised in a nice house and attend good schools. Simply, you must realize that you have been given a privilege, and therefore you are obligated to act. You must help those who were not born with the same advantages you have. This is not to say that you have not worked hard and earned much of what you have; you just have to acknowledge the compounded struggles of a lesbian latino woman who was born into poverty, without a supportive family or a grade school that taught her anything or a safe home to sleep in with healthy food to eat. You have to understand the fear of a black woman who knows her son has been stopped on his walk home from school; the same woman who had to teach her four-year-old to never say anything but “yes sir” to a white man.
The white reaction to recent events proves that we are not ready. We still believe that we are superior, but never in those terms. You do not have to condone violence to understand a mother who is angry that the back of her son has been snapped and no offender is being prosecuted. You do not have to see every example of police brutality against people of color to understand that this is a clear, statistical trend, not even existent in other countries.
What I’m saying is not being liberal, it’s being human.
If you deny your privilege, or if you’re hiding your prejudice behind a political party or religion, I challenge you think: what side of history do you want to be on?
My roommate loves to tell me that there are two sides to every story, and I agree. There were two sides to the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, Slavery.
When you look back though, which side do you want to be on? Don’t over-complicate it. Police brutality may be the way we see racism on our televisions in 2015, but it is far from being the only institutional outlet for racism.
If you’re not helping the oppressed, you’ve become the oppressor.
If you have any privilege, like having a laptop and internet access to this article, you need to do something. It won’t be easy, but the worthwhile things in life never are.
Infographic via http://visual.ly/neutral-look-police-brutality