Recently in headlines, I saw a news article about Iggy Azalea’s response to being called out by Macklemore’s new release “White Privilege Part 2.” Of course, like any curious consumer of entertainment, I wanted to find out more. After listening to the song and reading the accompanying lyrics so I was sure not to miss anything, I got to thinking, “What can I do to make sure my white privilege doesn’t get in the way?” I’m no politician or protester. I’m a mom and wife. I work a part-time job and I’m a college student. What will my voice accomplish?
Since last Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, my son has been learning about King in his kindergarten class. My husband and I sat and talked with him one night about what he learned. He said King was fighting for equality for people who were black and that someone had shot him. Brad asked Cael, “Did you know that it used to be that if you were a different skin color from me, I couldn’t be friends with you?” Cael’s reply floored me and left me proud: “But that’s silly! [Child] is my best friend at school and he has different skin.” I know that isn’t the biggest thing in the world, but to me, knowing that Brad and I have gotten a crucial piece of kindness to him means the world to me.
I try to make sure that I treat everyone I come across with the same dignity and respect that I wish to be treated with myself. I know the stereotypes but really, if we believed all of them, we could never get to the true person underneath. It makes me sad that all people see is what they want to see. They see a young black man being shot by a white police officer in the street, but do they know the whole story? They see news stories of black-on-white crime, but what about the white-on-white crime? Does anyone really know the statistics?
What more can I, as my insignificant self, do?