White Privelege – White Racism

Borrowed from: http://greenlining.org/blog/2016/white-privilege-sequel/

James Baldwin pointed out repeatedly that racism is a white issue. In the US, only white people can end the 400 years of racism against black people. To that end there has been talk of coming to grips with white privilege. This would be an important first step for white people to engage in, to recognize their privileged state This can then lead to concrete efforts to undue the embedded racist structures in our society.

Recently I ran across a 1990 article “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh. 

“I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group”

Though some of the privileges she lists are the obvious ones, like to having to worry about DWB. I found it enlightening about some dimensions of my own privilege.

A short version featured 50 examples of white privilege. Download here (very small file): White Priviledge Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

Gay Marriage – how did this transformation occur?

Yesterday’s defacto legalization of gay marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court1 is a wonderful development. It appears certain that this non action by the court will cascade to all fifty states fairly quickly.

This raises the question of why American public opinion has changed so radically in the last 15 to 20 years?2 Given the ubiquity of hatred by humans for each other this transformation must be viewed as quite miraculous. After all, humans have devised hatreds based on membership in clans & tribes, religious or political beliefs, race, language, and more. Racism over skin color or ethnic origin has been particularly resistant to change.

So, this transformation in attitudes towards homosexuality should be studied so that we can understand how and why it took place. Perhaps we can learn some lessons that will enable us to attack some of the other destructive hatreds shared so broadly by human beings.

Borrowed from Washington Post

Borrowed from Washington Post

  1. http://nyti.ms/1naIw2zt []
  2. I am not suggesting that homophobia has disappeared. But the change of this narrower issue of marriage is still a very striking positive development []