I am white.
I am male.
There, I said it. But I won’t let these facts override one other.
I am a person.
It hurts me to write this but at this point in time I feel I need to.
I have done racist things in my life. I have locked my car doors when driving through predominately black neighborhoods in Milwaukee. I have crossed the street when I have seen a small group of black men standing on the sidewalk among others things. Why? I wasn’t under any threat. I certainly wasn’t being eyed with any suspicion. What I did do is allow myself to perform these baseless actions which were taught to me by a society that is…
…predominately white; predominately male.
What I did, I did out of ignorance and thoughtlessness.
But these are not irredeemable. I can be taught out of my ignorance. I can come to the realization that there is white male privilege, as a first step. I can learn that while my privilege exists I can see it for what it is. A corruption in our socio-economic, justice and political systems that are truly not equally accessible by all people in America. I can work to change these from within, as far as I can with the abilities I have.
I can have no idea what is like to be a black man in America. That would be arrogance of the highest degree and I won’t be a part of that. But I choose to see that inequality and injustice exist. I choose to work against it. But one inescapable fact remains.
American lives are being lost and being treated of less than value of others; fewer opportunities given. Is this a means of control? I’m not in a place where I can make that call.
Michael Brown is a symbol for our country, so is Darren Wilson but more so the events that occurred between the two. That is the symbol of where we are as a society.
President Obama, Eric Holder and others in positions of power can at best guide the country. But change, real change, for the county can only come from individuals.
I choose to change.