White Privilege Has No Place in the Time of Black Lives Matter

Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 08/17/2020

"There's no such thing as someone else's war" is from Jason Isbell's anti-racism song, "White Man's World." The protests, donations, and legislation since the murder of George Floyd have illustrated this. Millions have taken to the streets, called legislators, and attended e-meetings.

Fellow white people: it’s our war, but we won't lead it. Several years ago a Black male panelist said of #MeToo "You can't lead a fight that's not yours." Men had to stand up and act. Supporting women, not trying to take over. This man, with only a fraction of my white male privilege, identified that sometimes his male privilege benefited him over women. We have all seen situations where his Black skin is his anti-privilege. Fatally so.

Maybe you can't see your white privilege yet. Maybe Black Lives Matter feels too hard still. Maybe start with not replying "All Lives Matter." Don't wave your blue lives matter flag. Instead, think about it for a minute. Imagine a world where police don't save you. Instead there’s a non-zero chance they kill you. It's uncomfortable, I see you. But it's not 9 minutes with a knee on your neck. You can do it. It's different this time.

I, other white people, and white politicians cannot lead this fight. We need to listen to those for whom #BlackLivesMatter is a deeply personal statement. For whom it is a cry for white people to admit that our Country, even before it's founding, has fallen far short of holding Black lives equal.

Topics: Black Lives MatterGeorge FloydMe Too