This is really not articulating the full breadth of my feelings on this issue. Not even close. And probably not as well-connected or easy to follow as I wish. I’m just going to put it out there and hope someone gives me the benefit of the doubt that my intentions are good and my fear and hurt about this are real and that I am trying to do something good with it all.
Background: I am white. I spent several years of my childhood being the only white kid in my neighborhood. In Kindergarten, I was walked to the school door by the crossing guard because otherwise the black kids chased me and pulled my hair and hit me because I “didn’t belong there”. We moved, and although the demographics of my school changed, the makeup of my little area of town was still predominantly black. I was thankfully accepted there and I know this is largely the result of quickly making friends with the tallest (and wisest) black girl there… by way of having the same bicycle and her thinking I stole it. Thankfully, her bicycle was quickly within view and the crisis averted. She sheltered me from a lot of nastiness. Having come from experiencing that nastiness first-hand, I remain grateful 35 years later for her ushering me into being accepted in that community. Continue reading At the intersection of “privilege” and “minority”