How to check your white privilege

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Coming to terms with your own privilege, crawling out of your safety bubble, is hard and uncomfortable and activates your fight or flight mode.

But in this day and age, no matter where you live, just sending prayers and standing on the sidelines watching when people are just blatantly murdered for the color of their skin just won’t cut it. If you are not openly against something, your silence only fuels the oppressors. It’s time to be part of the right side of history for once and if you are a human being living on planet Earth, that includes you too.

This is by no means an extensive list, but it is a start and that’s something.

Start in your inner circle

In my opinion you cannot raise awareness outside of your inner bubble, if you’re still cringeing over your uncle’s racist jokes at the dinner table instead of saying something. No one expects you to change minds overnight and white privilege is a deep routed concept our ancestors and older members of the family weren’t even aware of.

What you can do is speak up, and make them aware. Silence gives hate room to grow – speaking up can start to shrink it!

To those who think an old dog doesn’t learn new tricks, I say don’t write them off just yet. People might surprise you!

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

Lots of white people I talked to over the last couple of days, told me they were scared of doing or saying something wrong talking to their black friends or people of color they follow online, and why they can’t tell them what to do and say. That’s exactly the point though: You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable!

It’s not your black friend’s job to validate your feelings and be grateful for your prayers. It’s not on them to school you and explain to you what is wrong. It’s on you, on us, as white people on this planet – not just in the USA – to step out of our bubble and educate ourselves and be of service for the black community.

Reach out to people of color and their businesses

Put your money where your mouth is and make buying from people of color a priority and spread the word. Especially sharing online on social media has a big impact. When people see the same artist/business over and over again on Instagram, they are positively influenced and the chance of them making a purchase increases significantly.

Actively ask how to help and then follow through. In my experience, this opens the door to deeper conversation both sides benefit from.

Read read read and read

I am a big advocate on reading and especially when it comes to race and white privilege, there are amazing books to get into now. I am in the midst of Ijeoma Oluo’s So you want to talk about race and it’s been eye-opening to say the least. I shared and saved lots of sources in my Instagram highlight here as well.

Be vocal and show up

Sharing posts on social media is one thing, but many of us draw the line where it can affect us in our bubble – again, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

If your coworker is a person of color and gets paid less than you, speak up! Even if that means a pay cut for you and other white coworkers. We’re all in this together and we all have to step up in order to make things right and create equality in any way we can.

If you see a black neighbor on the street being harassed, take out your phone camera and rush to his side.

Basically, if you see something, say something!

We all still need to social distance these days, but if there’s a peaceful protest in your city, join it! Show up publicly for the black community. Put your face out there and step out behind your online presence. Women do that much more than men from what I’ve seen. So if you happen to be a white man, it is even more important to show up and make a statement!

If you live in Vienna, there is a protest planned this Thursday – I will be there, will you?!

Let’s start with these few starting points for now. We have to do better, we have to start somewhere.

Image courtesy of Cleo Barnett

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