White privilege is something that is widely disputed in our country. Does it exist? Do I have it? The answer to the first question is "yes," it does exist and it is widely used. The second question, "Do I have it?" If you're white, then yes you do. By point of fact every white person has privilege and are presently using that privilege in one way or another.
I am a white person with white privilege.
It's not something I thought I used very often, which is why I want to distinguish activities in this privilege between the terms "passive" and "active." Forms of passive white privilege include ignorance and indifference. Ignorance in this sense is something I define as being unaware that your privilege has come to your benefit. Things such as exercising outside, gathering for a family barbeque, or just driving down the street. Normal activities that aren't themselves probable cause for detainment or arrest, however if you were someone who is non-white you are more likely to be stopped by the police or have the police called upon you. This still does not elevate the level of suspicion to probable cause.
This brings me to the next point of indifference. Because if you are aware of these things happening with a racial disparity and unmoved or not concerned, you have expressed your white privilege. Indifference is probably the worst between the two passives that I have outlined because it is the informed, but don't care attitude.
Active white privilege is any activity in which someone expects beneficial treatment for being white. And I'm certain that definition doesn't come close to describing all active white privilege. My only defense on that is that I'm still learning about the different ways that white privilege is applied.
A lot of my friends are taking an active stance on the recent developments in the world, most on the side of the protesters. And they come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds throughout the world. Those of them who are white, have made the same decision as I have to use our white privilege to add our voices to the protesters and the Black Lives Matter movement.
For those who aren't active, or are active on the other side, it does occur to me that I will have to reevaluate those friendships in the due course of time. I do feel that trying to take a stance of neutrality is the same as siding with the broken system that has enabled this treatment against people of color. Lacking compassion and kindness are two big warning flags about people in my mind. However, I will maintain my voice and try to keep the conversation open. Although, if they only believe the news they want and everything else is "fake news," then I feel no guilt or sadness towards removing those people from my life. Because they are trying to cling to their ignorance while expressing their ignorance.
Some people, like myself, for a long time were struggling for a way to support BLM and other equal rights activists. That's why I confessed to a slowness of mind when it came to finding my voice and my platform. In addition to making my website a platform for advocating such causes, I also wanted to demonstrate how anyone who wants to help has a means to do so.
I can't change the name of my website from my own name, and in a way I feel as though that is somewhat shameless on my part. However, it is also binding me to my word. Hate groups typically rely on their anonymity to protect them from the consequences of being hateful. So I won't hide cowardly behind a sheet or a manifesto. Additionally, I don't want my voice to drown out the marginalized. I want my voice in harmony with my activist friends and the use of my white privilege to be in their benefit.
However, I also want to be forthcoming with further information about who I am.
I once tried to become a police officer. Well actually twice, but the more profound attempt is the first one. The interview process was a lengthy and time consuming affair, and I passed everything up until the final step of the process, psychiatric evaluation.
The results from a seven hundred multiple choice answer sheet and the interview with the psychiatrist led them to the conclusion that I wasn't aggressive enough to be a police officer. Not only that, but I was told that I wasn't obnoxious enough to be one either. That police officers should be more instigators rather than responders.
At the time, I was crushed because I wanted to be a good police officer. However, with the recent events in the world I feel as though it was a Godsend that I didn't get in. Either two things would have happened if I had. One, my sense of compassion and respect for others would have been beaten out of me. Or I would have had a target on my back because I would cling to those beliefs so dearly.
Honesty is a virtue I hold dear. That's why when I was given a te-test examination of the psychiatrist, I answered the same as I did the first time through. I figured that if I was going to be judged that I would stand by what I had said the first time around. That was almost sixteen years ago.
The second time I tried to be a police officer was for another city and another department. I wasn't selected to go past the physical tests because I put down the truth on my application about why I didn't get in to the police force the first time. They said it would probably be a waste of money to go through the testing process any further.
I am confessing all of this because I want to be transparent on here. Adding my voice to the BLM movement, in my mind, requires a large degree of accountability. The fact that I tried to join the police force at all may be viewed negatively by some, but I want that information available so that I can be judged appropriately.