“Hi there. My name is Brett Fish Anderson and I benefit from White Privilege.”
i mean that’s how i thought it would go, when i wandered into the room, very much late to the party.
Only thing is, the room seems surprisingly empty.
“As a black person I am really shocked that there are white ppl who think like this.” [Brian Maila]
“Like Brian, I also didn’t realise that there were white people who actually realised that “white privilege” is real. Thank you so much for this.” [Khaniyisa]
And those were not the only comments as a response to me, a white male, writing some thoughts on White Privilege, suggesting that it is a thing and that we have to own it and then work together to counteract it or hope for complete transformation over time.
I am also not the only one noticing this. Sarah Bessey, an amazing bloggerist from Canada, held back from writing her piece, while the Ferguson incident [the shooting and killing of a young black man repeatedly by a white police officer] was happening [she is Canadian] to give the Americans a chance to process and write their own story. But eventually, as the majority of the white bloggers seemed to be silent on it, she had to speak up over here.
But these past four days in Ferguson have broken through my usual resolve: this is absolutely a justice issue. I have waited patiently for more white Christian bloggers to speak up, particularly the Americans, trying to give them precedent to respond, but I have been disheartened by minimal response there. I want to come alongside the African American voices already writing and advocating, even in this small way.
i spent a LOT of time reading a LOT of posts in relation to Ferguson and White Privilege and Race over this last week and link after link was either African American people [both men and women] and then white women writing on the topic. I must have read well over 20 posts [in fact, i must have linked to close to 20 posts over here and here which means there were probably more] and i can’t remember any of them being written by white males [there might possibly have been one or two, but no white male faces stand out].
That doesn’t feel great and i am hoping that it is simply because i have not stumbled upon them. Although comments like Brian and Khanyisa’s make me feel like that might not be the case.
One of the women whose blog posts i read actually told me later she was scared when she saw my picture next to my Twitterer comment [she had to close the comment sections on both her blog pieces as they got out of hand] because obviously this white guy will react in the same way every other white guy she has encountered will react [especially this one with dreads, right] and then just so surprised when i affirmed her post. I am hoping Danielle will guest post for me in a few weeks time.
So basically this post is a cry out to all my white blogger friends, especially the men. WHERE ARE YOU? Are you staying silent on such an important topic of conversation? Are you prepared to put your hand up and acknowledge White Privilege and then write a piece to get people thinking and talking?
It feels like this happened a little more naturally in Americaland as it was fueled by an incident [or lets be honest here, just one more incident in a long line] and so maybe that is what it will take in South Africa to get us all to the table [i hope not].
If you read this piece, then please issue a challenge to your white friends who blog [and even those who don’t – i can make space on my blog for more voices] and your white pastor friends and others in leadership or who have influence. Share this on their walls. Tweet this with their names in it. Let’s see some more white voices, and white male voices, speaking up about White Privilege.
If you have read any white male voices speaking out on this topic then please add the links in the comments section – it would be great to be able to give a page of links that are not just African American and female voices [which have been so powerful and gracious and insightful and kind]
My name is Brett Fish Anderson and i benefit from White Privilege. And i am wondering if there is anyone else out there?
Found one! [Thankx John Scheepers] – Stephen Murray wrote this inspirational piece.