Chimamanda Ngozi Adichieonce said, “Race doesn't really exist for you [white people] because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don't have that choice.”
In my world, white privilege wasn’t ever a taught topic because I was unconsciously living it every single day. I didn’t know what white privilege was until I was in the eighth grade and you see, that’s the issue.
The first time I experienced white privilege, I was in class with one of my best friends. They were all goofing off as usual, but in just a few seconds things changed. I was always a quiet kid, but my friends weren’t.
Something flew across the classroom while our teacher was teaching. It didn’t hit anyone, but it was the last straw for her. Out of the large group of people in the back of our classroom, my friend got in trouble and the other kids in the group that had actually thrown the unbent paperclip across the room didn’t. The kids who didn’t get in trouble were white.
My friend was black.
This was the first time I had really witnessed someone jumping to conclusions and reacting based off of race.
This was when I realized that white privilege was very real.
This was when I took a step back to acknowledge the unseen privilege I have based on the color of my skin.
White privilege isn’t something that can be easily described nor can it be easily defined. It’s something that we have to be educated on in order to expose white privilege for what it really is. Without being self-aware of this issue, we as white people can never fix the problem.
In my opinion, education is the biggest issue surrounding white privilege. If we aren’t educated, then we will never be able to stand up for our brothers and sisters of color. Without education on this topic that surrounds our communities, our lives, or even our workplaces, our society will continue to stand divided.
Through SERVE2PERFORM’s first two podcast episodes, that is what we hope to do. In these episodes, you’ll find multiple perspectives on this topic alongside personal insights from our team members.