On a list of blog post ideas I had written in 2018, I had typed the word “privilege.” Nothing more, nothing less. My plan was to write about the privilege, mostly financial, that allows me to travel. That allows me to pay slightly more for an object that is of better-quality than a less expensive but less durable alternative. To be concerned about the environment because I am not worried about putting food on the table.
The issue of white privilege or racism in the U.S. and worldwide didn’t even cross my mind. To be fair, the issue of race or white privilege rarely crosses my mind during my day-to-day existence; this is a prime example of white privilege. I can count the number of times in my life I’ve felt like a racial minority on one hand. I can count the number of times in my life I was discriminated against based on my race on one finger.
Before the murder of George Floyd and the heightened amount of conversations about race, white privilege, and police brutality, I had the privilege of being ignorant of my race. I’m not proud of some of the things I have thought or said, nor of the awkwardness I still feel surrounding talking about race.
I, as a white, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied female, do not have experiences of racism to talk about. But I do have the ability to talk to family and friends about these topics. To challenge others’ thoughts. To educate myself. To listen to others. To share resources. To amplify the voices of people of color.
Here are some of the resources/framings I have found useful and informative to consider over the past few weeks, and you might, too:
- I don’t have to feel bad for the color of my skin. But I should feel bad if I do absolutely nothing and allow racism to endure.
- “I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance…” – Peggy McIntosh. Racism is not just the images we’ve seen in textbooks of Freedom Riders, segregation, nor of Jim Crow laws; racism is a much deeper, nuanced, and societal issue.
- Black Lives Matter. Period.
- This reframing of racism from the perspective of feminism from Rachel Cargle
At some point you may have been asking yourself what racism has to do with money, travel, or the environment. Hold on, my dear friends. I’ll answer that for you right now. Looking for free resources to learn more?
I’ve found some of the following books to be helpful reads. Others have been recommended to me and I am currently on the hold list at my local libraries to read them upon availability. Use your local library to read them for free.
- Born A Crime – Trevor Noah
- So You Want To Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
- Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
- Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult
- The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
- White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo
- How To Be An Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack – Peggy McIntosh
- Just Mercy – the film based on the book is free to watch until the end of June. It may be a bit confusing to find the watch link, as you have to click on the “rent/buy” button and then you’ll find the link to watch the film for $0.
- Selma and The Hate U Give are also currently free to watch (Update: at the time of writing these movies were available for free, but as of June 21 they are only available for purchase).
- When They See Us – currently available on Netflix.
Amplifying Black Voices in the Travel World
Amplifying Black Voices in the Finance World
This is, by no means, a comprehensive guide. This is also, by no means, a guide at all. I am not an expert on race, racism, or white privilege. I will be the first to admit I’m still learning to listen to others and educate myself about racism. It
may be is uncomfortable, but this topic is too profound to not address. I would be too complicit in allowing racism to endure if I did not talk about its affect in our society. So, here are some suggestions on resources I found informative. Please share other information and your own thoughts and reactions.