Jun 4, 2020 12:30 · 510 words · 3 minute read
As a white male with the baseline privilege that affords, my lived experience is different from those from other backgrounds. As such I struggle to articulate my thoughts on the protests and struggle born out of police violence towards non-white people without sounding patronising speaking from my place of privilege. But we, white people, need to speak out and we need to take responsibility. We need to open our eyes.
We, within our bubbles more often than not are blind to the bias, blind to the small and large injustices that others see as the norm day to day. Injustices that others have just had to accept are a part of life. Events like the death of George Floyd and the ensuing outrage in the US puncture our bubbles and shock us into even recognising the existence of our bias and our give us a reason to be outraged. But for the people whose lives are affected every day by these injustices we are still blind. What will be different when this rage dies down and we return to “normal?". Normal for many people is just back to the same old injustice. Normal is not good enough.
To affect real change we need to recognise our bias during “normal” times and actively work against it, we need to stop the small injustices that normalise the large ones, we need to rage against the anything like this being called normal. The burden is on us (people like me) to work harder to see past our bubbles, to take that extra step required to see beyond ourselves, open our eyes and to ensure we aren't part of the injustice purely by inaction or by being blinded by our normal. The rage should always be there, we should be the source of the rage against all of this, not the passive bystanders or reactionaries when it's too late.
Recently I have seen a lot of book recommendations flying round on social media for and from white middle class people to help us “understand”. Please don't just read a book so you can now “feel informed” and righteously justified in your twitter outrage. Read the book, get informed and use it as the tool for change in your everyday.
Who am I in this ivory tower of morality to be telling everyone how to change? Nobody. I hold no power, I have no greater voice than all the other nobodies. I don't even have to think about being anybody, I don't have to be aware of my ethnicity and what it means in this society that is frictionless for me. Millions of people who merely don't look like me have to fight everyday injustices just because their physical and ethnic identity is front and centre in everything. They don't have the privilege of being nobody.
The choice is yours. I can't change you, but I can change me and writing this is the start. If this recent horror has opened your eyes, make sure they stay open. Break the normal, rage with me.