There are many great resources out there for white people to learn about history. Especially for those of us who grew up in predominantly white communities in the US, we were often not taught the truth about our country, about racism, or let’s face it… we were not taught about anyone except the white colonialists, and maybe MLK.
It is our responsibility to learn. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves. Below are a few resources pulled together, specifically regarding Charleston, SC. Please add more in the comments area.
Q: A POC friend posted about a scumbag murdering 9 people, police knowing he murdered 9 people, police apprehend scumbag, and do not feel their lives were threatened so scumbag lives because the scumbag had “the complexion for the protection.” I know police brutality is racially biased, but its too much across the board and in this particular case the police did it right and my POC friend was coming across as resentful that this white man didn’t end up dead like he would have been much more likely to have if he had been white. So I called my POC friend out, saying I don’t see how they would have been satisfied unless this white scumbag had been hurt or killed. My POC friend called my comments foolish and then referred me to this website. What did I do wrong?
A: Seeing another incident where a white person was treated drastically different than a person of color is very painful to watch. Not only did the terrorist live,
but he was not handcuffed on his way to the police car, given a bulletproof vest and come to find out later, taken to Burger King for some food. This is just another incident of white supremacy. White supremacy is a system that privileges whiteness over darker skin. Elizabeth Martínez defines it as, “White Supremacy is an historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations, and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent, for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power, and privilege.” The prison industrial complex, including the police, is a system based on white supremacy. Continue reading
Q: Lately when speaking about race with My white friends I hear again and again how they believe POC have a leg up in the world just for being minorities and how they have more chances in life because of our bleeding heart government who give them all handouts all the time. I always become really upset and feel like I get derailed in these discussions. Is there some factual information I can spout back at them instead of getting red in the face and screaming you are so wrong!?
A: Yes, this is a tiring and exhausting issue to discuss. It is difficult to address these issues without screaming or just walking away. This is why the discussion is so important. The more our white friends hear other white people discussing white supremacy the more we can change the discussion. This question of having a “leg up” is an important one to discuss. What we really need to look at here is systemic privileging of white skin and white sounding names, etc. over others.