It was eye opening for me to realize how privilege can work itself out, sometimes it is not about what you have, but what you don’t have that can make one privileged.
I had a racially diverse extended family growing up and never gave it a second thought until a cousin pointed out their mixed parentage, and the fact that even though they were very financially flush, they had not been able move to the suburbs until a new housing development was built with the sole intent of creating a diverse neighborhood.
We were poor, but we were white so we lived without having to give a second thought to the color of our skin. That is a privilege for sure, but not one I have any control over anymore than someone can control being born black and excluded.
However, I stand firm on the fact that I can be in a privileged class, lacking true understanding of the depth of difficulty of being non-white, without being a racist, and sometimes I think this is where communication breaks down for many.
It will be impossible to find common ground, a place of listening to each other, a place of healing, a place to merge such divergent world views and experiences, if one holds to the vilification and exclusion of whites from the process.
Blacks are justifiably angry over mistreatment, but the labeling of whites as an enemy because of the color of their skin doesn’t fix anything in the long run. It only gives fuel to the bigots to feel justified of their feelings of being exclusive in the first place, and thus dig in their heels in self righteousness.
Then as a society we are five steps back beyond the hope of a world where one could be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.