The events of the last few weeks have been disheartening. I am really worried about where this country is headed in terms of race relations. Of course, social media has been a source of both inspiration and frustration. And one theme that keeps appearing is that of “white privilege”.
What surprises me is that some people, typically white males, will argue that white privilege doesn’t exist.
Speaking as a white male, I know that it does exist.
I can go for a run any time of the day and not fear getting stopped by the police.
I can wear a hoodie and walk around a strange neighborhood and not fear getting stopped by the police.
I can drive my truck anywhere I want. I can probably even roll through a stop sign and not get stopped by a police officer if he/she saw it.
There are many, many things I can do and not worry about getting pulled over or arrested.
I cannot imagine what it would be like not to be able to do those things.
The proponents for the absence of white privilege often use the argument that they know what it’s like to walk into a bar filled with the Other. They know what it’s like to drive into a neighborhood in South Tucson and have people stare at them funny. And I laugh at these arguments.
They have the choice to leave. And, more importantly, these events happen so rarely that one cannot simply compare those to what it is like every day of the week. Knowing that when you leave the house in the morning, you will be scrutinized by law enforcement, simply because of the color of your skin.
On the other side of the coin, I’m sickened and saddened by the events in Dallas last night. Five police officers killed, by a sniper who admitted to negotiators that he wanted to kill white people, particularly cops. My dad was law enforcement, my uncle was law enforcement, and some of my good friends are police officers. I’ve spent my entire life around police officers. Good police officers who would willingly do anything to protect and serve. It is understatement to describe how I felt this morning when I read the news.
What is the answer?
I don’t know if there is one. I’m scared a race war will break out. I’m scared that more police officers will be targeted. I’m scared for my friends who are non-White.
I’m hoping to see open dialogue. I’m praying for compassion.