“Free, White, and 21” Is No Way to Love Others, Pandemic or Not

Content warning: I’m going to mention white privilege and systemic harm to people of color in this pandemic. I hope you’ll listen. If you’re inclined not to because you think white privilege is a myth, I still hope you’ll listen.

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1 Response to “Free, White, and 21” Is No Way to Love Others, Pandemic or Not

  1. Linn says:

    I learned a lot about “white privilege” growing up in a transitioning neighborhood in a large city back in the 60s/70s. All of my white friends, except one, weren’t allowed to my fourth grade birthday party because I invited my black friend from school. I still had a fun, much smaller party, but my black friend was my best friend, and I couldn’t imagine a party without her. I saw smart Latino and black friends “tracked” into low performing classes because of race while I was in the gifted program, where all the kids were white except two (in a school that was at least 50% “minority” enrollment). And, I know it continues, and shudder when I see posts or articles anywhere online that talk about whites being marginalized and persecuted. I still don’t get it. I do what I can in my neighborhood, mostly tutoring English to kids, and teaching as a volunteer in an ESL program for adults. These people are my neighbors. They are kind and helpful to me as an older, slightly disabled adult-and I don’t understand why we as whites are so afraid of them.

    My other reality, at least in the California city where i live, the population spread is about equally 1/3 white, 1/3 Latino, and 1/3 Asian. At some point, whites will be the minority or part of a population where social class may be more important than skin color. We could all do a lot to help each other if we could learn to accept each other and work together.

    I’m still the fourth grader that insisted that my black friend attend my party, way back in 1966.

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