This week is International Blog Against Racism Week and I spent yesterday reading about racism, but not writing anything because I felt like I didn’t have anything to add to the conversation. After all, as a white person, race doesn’t affect me.
Except that’s completely false. Race affects me every day.
- When I go to a store, I don’t have to worry that someone might think I’m shoplifting.
- When someone asks me where I’m from, it’s not code for “what race are you?”
- When I want a cab, I can get one.
- When I ride the subway, the police won’t check my bag.
- No one is surprised that I am literate.
These are some of the simple, invisible ways my race affects me and though none of them does me harm, each item is a privilege that I gain by the pallor of my skin. For all that the Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” the reality is that we are still living in an Orwellian world were “some…are more equal than others.”
Recommended reading: Unpacking the Knapsack of Privelege (.pdf)