September 27, 2010
Racism is far from eradicated. However (especially in the North, and specifically in Boston) it often works undercover so that white people don't notice it's happening. But it is happening all the time, supported by our (whites') actions and inaction.
Yes. Those of us who are most privileged by racism are often kept ignorant to the issue. In white culture most of us are taught at an early age to not talk about race. ("Sshh. That's rude.") This silence is especially tragic since whites can have a great effect when we choose to fight against racism. White privilege means that white people are usually listened to and trusted more automatically in our society; and I believe we have a responsibility to use our unearned power for change.
My eyes were opened by Beverly Daniel Tatum's 'Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?' It was a fantastic introduction for me to learn about the stages of racial identity development for both people of color and whites.
I'm dedicated to making Boston a more just and equitable city, and I'm so glad for the Knapsacker support group. I'm a volunteer facilitator for the YWCA's Race Dialogues. And I direct Voices of Harmony, a cross-cultural musical community.
This group is so necessary. Not enough people in Boston are talking about how to solve the White Problem. I know that I, as a white person, need support to recognize my knapsack of privilege, and take action to create the kind of just, inclusive community that I want to live in. I definitely plan on coming again!