Day 118 (of 186) on a district raising the topic of white privilege #sd74 @downsteresa
Not an easy topic to bring up. Many immediate (and valid) “exceptions to the rule” around what has been termed “white privilege”. This is not a secret organization. No secret handshake. For many, probably not even something that they would be aware of….which is why it is sensitive to being up….because there will be backlash – as School District 74 Superintendent @DownsTeresa was no doubt prepared for (at least at a local level though maybe not for such a wider audience):
And while it is true that there are some “tests” you can take, when I took one, as a white male, I thought that I would’ve “scored higher” than I did (and I stated that to the room)….but was still a higher score than many….so there is definitely “more to the story” but….
⁃ I’ve never had difficulty seeing role models ‘that look like me’ in media – and my role models have quite a range (though we could have a discussion on how television stereotypes “dads” [of all races])
⁃ When stopped by police I’ve been more nervous about what my mom would think than what the officer would do
⁃ While I’ve been a minority ‘at times’ it’s never been ‘all the time’ (yes even being a white male is not always an advantage)
⁃ I admit I’m not a fan of affirmative action programs – but mainly because I would like to think I always make judgements based on actions rather than skin colour or gender, but I’ve become “better aware” of why affirmative action is necessary – because not everyone thinks and acts as I do and things haven’t been systematically fair nor equal (even more so when socioeconomic gets added in!)
⁃ I am aware that there may have been privileges granted to me that I was unaware of (ie carrying a backpack in a store) and that I assume would be ‘universal’
⁃ I’m also aware that there is a “guilt by association – or stereotype” that is felt – especially when “jokes” or silences are heard. If you’ve got nothing nice to say…. and racially coded language can “feel better” : urban inner-city disadvantaged (which should imply that some are overadvantaged….right?)
⁃ I also know that while change (and new) and addressing “old wrongs” done by different people (residential schools Komagata Maru, head taxes, detainment camps etc) can be awkward – how far back do we go to address wrongs…..kids do what they see – and if they see adults doing better….so will they
update: I’ve never had to prepay for a meal https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/15/us/maine-ihop-race-trnd/index.html in a restaurant that didn’t make everyone prepay for their meal.
In the end, I feel confident that with more discussion about (and not around) this topic that SD74 has provided an opening to have…..well, in my experience it’s like bullying – in many instance it is more of a lack of awareness than it is a direct point of action, and with awareness….it stops. It changes into something better. Something more focused on equality. Something truly “universal” where experiences are based on how you act rather than how you look.
Don’t focus on what SD74 did to start the conversation – focus on the conversation that SD74 has started.