George Floyd’s death undeniably changed the world. He forced a myriad number of people to take a hard look at how white privilege oppressed Black people the last 400 years. An ingrained perception of power, control, and authority is deep-seated within the white race. Consequently, it impedes their ability to take responsibility for the crimes committed against other races, specifically Blacks.
As a Black woman, I know firsthand what racism and white privilege feel like. One instance was with an employer who allowed a white physician to take his frustration out on me. He angrily and mistakenly exploded in front of other employees and patients. He was upset about work that I completed correctly and on time. I asked upper management, all white, how I could place a complaint in his file and demand an apology. Management said he had no file and they could not force him to do something that he refused to do. On the contrary, the doctor filed his own complaint against me. Shortly thereafter, I was demoted and relegated to the angry Black woman status.
What is White Privilege?
A focus on white privilege from a Black women’s perspective is a searing light that blinds most white people. They don’t want to see the Truth. Establishing generational white wealth also created generational suffering for the descendants of those their ancestors treated barbarically.
White privilege gives white folks the ability to use double standards. Thus, they exempt themselves from harsh penalties for crimes, that, if committed by Black folks would result in the opposite. White privilege gives permission to treat people of color like beasts of burden, exploited for their labor while denied their humanity. Whites claim permission to feel like their opinion matters more than anyone else’s. Also, they claim license to say absurd things like “being called a Karen is the same as calling someone the N word.” Ultimately, white privilege means white power.
White privilege means that it is up to me as a Black person to keep the peace and safety in a mixed crowd. I am expected to assume the responsibility for making that happen by putting white people at ease while when in their company. If I want to keep my integrity, and my job, I cannot disagree or voice valid concerns. I have to respect a white person’s opinion, regardless of how outrageous that opinion might be. Because if I speak up consequences exist. If I go against the grain, fail to supported who they are or what they think, white privilege will find a way to threaten me. Namely, my job, income, reputation, my way of protecting and being the bread winner are jeopardized.
Black Women Walk a Fine Line
Dare a Black woman have valid reason to state her truth, white privilege says, “see that’s just another angry Black woman.” And here again, speaking up comes with a cost that too many Black leaders paid for with their lives. White privilege gives permission to create excuses to lock a Black man up preventing him from getting ahead. It makes Blacks folks even fear being Black.
White privilege means that Black gifts and talents are co-opted. We see it time and time again in sports and music. Unashamedly, whites take credit for Blacks inventions, creations, food, and art. And they do so repeatedly without acknowledgement of those who originated it.
A White Woman’s Tears
White privilege gives a white woman permission to use her tears to justify her ignorant behavior and endanger Black men. It means a white woman can have plastic surgery to enhance her butt, her lips, and her breasts. They can wear hairstyles (braids with extensions), and darken her pigmentation. In other words, a white woman can do anything to look Black. They can pretend to be Black while retaining the power to fall back into whiteness at a moment’s notice.
The Whites in power are fearful now and have every reason to be. Over decades dominating whites have done everything they could to disrupt, divide, and alienate people both at home and in other countries. What’s at risk? Privilege. A right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most; a bubble that has kept them from facing and taking ownership of their transgressions. What should they be afraid of? That Blacks will employ the exact same abuse, mistreatment, disloyalty, injustice, unfairness and at times the inhumane behavior that was projected onto them. They are afraid that there will be a unified people of all races that will expose and tear down the veil that they were once hidden behind.
Well that day has arrived. More and more it is becoming evident that Blacks are forming a world class ally with many whites and other races and are soon to become a dominant force that will demolish, reckon, and rebuild America.
Ultimately, white privilege means white power and white power is not something that is easily given up.
Thank goodness for those who are consciously aware of their privilege, the racism it fosters and are willing to stand up, to challenge the white supremacy that is at the heart of our current crisis.
George Floyd did not know he was going to take his last breath on May 25, 2020. I hope he understands from the heavens above that this day was meant; meant for him to rip off the veil of racism and white privilege and change the world.