Back when I first started this blog, I committed to posting something every day for a full year. I succeeded. That is the longest commitment I have ever kept next to sobriety and my marriage. I would like to recommit, but for a different reason than I did back then.
After the death of George Floyd, I found myself wanting to act but uncertain what that meant for me. I knew it meant writing. This is my best tool and weapon. But I am not expert enough to be able to use my platform with the right credential, I feel. Maybe that is not necessary. There are plenty of folks giving opinions devoid of knowledge of a subject…but that doesn’t seem to stop them.
One of the things the black community suggests for the white folks is to study the issue of racism. Wise. I have seen on line suggestions for books and the added suggestion to become part of discussion groups. I am already a member of a discussion group and the next book we’ve chosen to read is White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo.
Many of the blogs I posted in the past were commentaries on books I was reading. I have decided to do this in a more intentional way as I walk through White Fragility. Starting today, I plan to blog each day on something I am learning as I turn the pages. My motive is to help those of you who read my blog to learn along with me. Not all of you are readers as I am and those who are may not find non-fiction your first choice. I would encourage any of you to invite others to follow along by introducing them to my blog. I also encourage those who read to comment. I will respond. I promise.
The first thing I want to share is that this is not my first introduction to the idea of white privilege. Well over 20 years ago, when I was working on my degree in family studies at St. Cloud State University, I was encouraged by a professor who was organizing study groups to read a book on White Privilege…and I think that was the title of the book. It was a wonderful book that opened my eyes to see how easily I could move through life without consciousness of how some others around me could not. A simple example is being served in a restaurant before a black person. I had never noticed. Typically, I just had my nose in a menu and thought about how hungry I was.
Anyway, learning about my own privilege as a white person changed the way I perceived the reactions I got from police officers when I was pulled over for breaking the law or how readily a complaint was handled when I brought concerns about a piece of merchandise to a store. But that knowledge was just the tip of the iceberg and I am ready to look more deeply at this weird way humans have organized themselves throughout history.
I invite you to look more deeply with me.