10/31/2015: White Privilege

Happy Halloween everyone.  I hope you all stayed dry during this All Hallows Eve.  Even if I wasn’t in the rain that much, I still got drenched.  Four of my housemates and I went to help a local woman move her stuff to her new house and to a storage unit she has.  That was a long day filled with sweating, pain, etc.  I’m still sore, but that’s beside the point.  In reflecting on the experience though, I will try to resist the urge to go off on an angry rant.  I will nonetheless point out how it was a perfect example of White Privilege.  All the fine paintings, antique mirrors, fine upholstery on the furniture, and her ability to rent a 20′ Uhaul while still paying us for eight hours of service and buy us lunch, all out of her own pocket, and this being her 49th move in her lifetime, it all amounts to being a great example of the luxury White non-Hispanic people enjoy simply because of the skin they were born with.  When asked why she has moved so many times, she says she likes to enjoy the settings of different communities.  I must wonder though, if she were a Black woman, how different the situation would have been.  Would all the moves be out of choice, or by force?  Would she still be able to afford all of that, or would we be hauling it in the back of pickup trucks and vans?  Would we have thrown more out instead of putting it in a storage unit?  Growing up, these were never concerns I had, and I know that my not even recognizing or thinking about my lack of concern is all part of the privilege given to me because of the skin I was born with.  I also recognize though that I’m only beginning to see it present and that there are many layers yet to peal back and reveal.  This will always be a growing edge for me, but I refuse to stop peeling back more layers and understand how something as simple as my skin can so drastically determine the path my life has, does, and will take, and I invite you to do the same.  So, until next time, may God bless you in all you do.

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