Confronting the Reality of White Privilege
As the son of a slaveholder, may I raise the topic of WHITE PRIVILEGE?
As an example you might recall, nothing raises my ire more than incidents such as when Eric Garner, a Black man whose only crime was selling cigarettes, is killed by the police, while across the bay in Manhattan (Wall Street to be exact!) no one has gone to jail—let alone died on the ground in a chokehold!—for actions contributing to the financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed, even though it cost Americans billions of dollars and destroyed countless lives and families. Beyond the obvious, overwhelming injustice, am I the only one who is enraged that taxpayers pay law enforcement to take down a black man for a minor infraction, while (mostly) white white-colar criminals often remain above the law?
But to my way of thinking, more often than not, law enforcement is merely a pawn, the scapegoat for society’s injustice, not the source of the problem, not even close. Maybe it goes back to my empathizing with Confederate soldiers who got stuck fighting a rich man’s war on behalf of the Cotton Kingdom and mistakenly adopted the cause as their own, but at the risk of angering some of you, I tend to give individual officers the benefit of the doubt if I can. Anyway, don’t go thinking I’m encouraging antagonism toward the police, because I’m not. Solving the problem is going to take a lot more than accusing a bunch of working stiffs (isn’t that what they used to call honest, working people like cops?) of being racist and making their lives more difficult, while the real culprits are sitting in corporate boardrooms laughing at us all. And I do mean us all.