How do we check our privilege?

Taken from Checking your Privilege 101 published by the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois.

Action steps to checking privilege:

1) Acknowledge that the privilege exists, 2) move away from immobilizing guilt, 3) understand that your privilege will not go away until the root systems that give you privilege are abolished, 4) be an ally to communities you are not a part of, 5) recognize how and why your privilege can destruct community empowerment, 6) use your privilege to benefit groups you are not a part of, 7) educate others with your privilege to check themselves, and 8) call people out and embrace being called out about privilege.

After the jump, New Black Woman breaks  it down for us all.

Stop talking and LISTEN

One of the reasons I have not spoken on the Trayvon Martin tragedy is because the first step in dismantling white privilege is for white people to stop leading the  discussions of race.  That is part of white privilege, that the dominant group controls the discussion. If we are truly committed to changing the system, we must have members of the marginalized group lead these conversations.

New Black Woman is a twenty-something blogger who has devoted a lot of blog space to the Trayvon Martin tragedy. The following quote is from her post White people: check your privilege when talking about the Trayvon Martin tragedy where she vents her frustration at the Facebook comments from her white, liberal, forward-thinking friends:

I am tired of being told by white people, in an effort to dodge the glaring issue of racism in this case, that we need to get all the facts out before we can rush to judgement. I am tired of white people shying away from talking about the blatant use of racism, whiteness and racial profiling by George Zimmerman to pursue Trayvon Martin. I am tired of white people telling people of color to drop the race issue in this case when whiteness grants them the privilege of using my race and blackness as a yardstick to measure my worth.

I am tired of white people in this country telling black people and other people of color to let go of race and quit obsessing about slavery, Jim Crow and lynchings. I am tired of being told by white people that ”not everything is about race” and that they don’t see race when they see me or any other person of color. I am tired of listening to white people justify the use of racial profiling by George Zimmerman as his neighbors have claimed eight previous burglaries have been committed by black males, thus implying Zimmerman was right to pursue Trayvon Martin.

Black people in this country don’t need to reserve judgment for shit in this case. Black people understand that racial profiling is the sole reason why George Zimmerman pursued and confronted Trayvon Martin as we live and negotiate the fact that our blackness is labeled as suspect by whiteness on a daily basis. Black people do not need to listen to arm-chair activists jump on the bandwagon and express their faux solidarity with our struggle by way of Skittles and hoodies, while ignoring and dismissing our calls for them to check their white privilege, racism and whiteness at the door.

Black people in this country have had to put up with slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, rapes, beatings and murder at the hands of white people and whiteness who believe that my black skin is a problem and menace to society. Trayvon Martin was a victim of that same systematic degradation and subjugation perpetuated by active racists and passive conformists and practitioners of whiteness. We deserve and have a right to be outraged by the blatant use of racial profiling by George Zimmerman and to have the oppressive nature of racial profiling, racism and whiteness brought to the forefront for discussion.

We are not Trayvon Martin

This is hard to watch, but she says some things white people need to hear. Including this gem:

The fact that the real Trey Davis and Treyvon Martin are victims of oppression and buried under six feet of cold dirt, while we middle class activists are alive, marching, and wearing their names is an indication that our societal system is working exactly as it’s intended.

Oh to be so young and so right:)

Related Posts by Bonita Applebum

Dude, your white privilege is showing

The elephant in the room


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. darryl collins
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 15:31:05

    Thanks for sharing the knowledge.


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