Recently, I was part of a conversation on this very topic. I try and educate myself as much as I can on how I can be the most inclusive and most respectful person in presence of other POC (people of Color). Even I, being a POC, have privilege. But when it comes to white privilege, there’s certain things that we can agree as being POC that our white counterparts need to be educated on.
Here are some useful resources that make sense of it all:
Read the following article from a person trying to understand her own white privilege. Check out the following excerpt:
“I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.”
Excerpt: “How privilege is bad for the privileged: Privilege makes you blind. Privilege is a big bag of stuff you’re not forced to think about. If you’re white, have you ever wondered to what extent those who find you sexually attractive do so because of your race? Have you ever wondered why a certain colour is called “flesh-tone?” Have you ever worried that the way you act might cause someone to judge your entire race? If the answer to any of those question is yes: here is your cookie, and don’t say I’ve never done anything for you. If the answer is no, this is your opportunity to change that.”
Excerpt: “Learn to Listen Rather Than Speak
This one is a lot harder than it sounds, and I say this as someone who loves speaking and voicing her opinion on things. One of the greatest things we, as privileged people, can bring to a discussion being held by non-privileged groups is our closed mouths and open ears/minds. When you enter a minority space, you need to realize that this is their soapbox, not yours. Your privilege gives you many other soapboxes that you can take advantage of, so when participating in a discussion held by a non-privileged group or individual your primary goal is to pay attention to what they say about their issues, lives, and oppressions.”