CNN’s SALLY KOHN: #Ferguson Has Taught Us That Whites Are All Racists Because of ‘White Privilege’

Published on November 30, 2014

I didn’t know being a lesbian also made one say stupid crap on a regular basis. Who knew?

In a recent op-ed, Kohn discusses the effects of the Ferguson riots (not protests) and declares that whites are racist because of their supposed privilege. She writes, (emphasis added)
When black people are protesting in Ferguson and across America, they’re not protesting against white people. Maybe this seems obvious, but it’s worth stating. In fact, in the case of Ferguson, the protests weren’t (primarily) about one white cop. Black communities are ultimately protesting systems of injustice and inequality that structurally help white people while systematically harming black people. Just because you’re white and therefore generally benefit from those systems doesn’t mean you inherently support those systems — or need to defend them. Benefiting from white privilege is automatic. Defending white privilege is a choice.
Privilege is like oxygen: You don’t realize it’s there until it’s gone. As white folks, we can’t know what it’s like to go through life without racial privilege because we literally haven’t. You may have heard stories about black friends being monitored in department stores or seen the research that black names on resumes get half as many job interviews as white names on the same resumes. Maybe you know that a black man or boy is killed every 28 hours in America by police or vigilantes. Maybe you’ve read the studies on implicit “shooter bias” — how we’re all more likely to pull a simulated trigger on unarmed black men than unarmed white men — and maybe you know that even the most egalitarian Americans harbor unconscious negative attitudes about black people. The studies and the stories are overwhelming. Just this week, police shot and killed a black 12-year-old for holding a BB gun.
But still, in some part of your brain, if you imagine that wouldn’t happen to you even if you were black, it means you believe something other than race is to blame for all those statistics and studies — which can only boil down to some rationalization of inherent superiority on your part. And then you’ve just shown exactly what privilege is and why black folks feel the need to assert their basic humanity. See how easy it is to reinforce white privilege, even unintentionally?
Read more: TPNN

 

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