I am a privileged white male. There are things daily that don’t even cross my mind because of my white, male life. Yet, one of my long time friends from childhood has told me that everyday he is reminded he is black.
No one reminds me that I am white…well actually, my white culture reminds me daily that I am white because I don’t have to think about my white privilege…I just live it.
White culture isn’t a bad thing. I’m learning that white culture can do great things in moving things forward and getting things done because, as a white man, people listen to me. Example: My wife, on many occasions, will suggest an idea to a group of people. The idea goes nowhere. However, at a later time I make the same suggestion to the same group and suddenly the idea is taken seriously.
I’m learning to use my white, male privilege to educate other white privilege males who may not even realize they have white privilege. It’s been quite a wake-up call these past few years for myself.
The most important thing I’ve learned is to listen. I mean, really listen to the voices that don’t hold the same privilege as I do. I then validate those voices. I may not have answers in that moment, so I keep listening.
Change is hard. Especially when its the right kind of change, but it starts in ones own life, as it did in mine.