Okay folks, I expect to get some flack for this but here goes. I get it, there is a lot of anger over the events in Ferguson. What I don’t get is the multiple stories I have read regarding “white privilege.” Does it really ease the pain that people of color experience DAILY that you recollect a time that you got away with a crime or your spouse back talked a policeman and got away with it?
I think there is a distinct difference between standing in solidarity with the black community in Ferguson and making apologies for your having taken advantage of your station in life and touting that you feel guilty about it now.
Don’t get me wrong, it is a good thing to recognize the privilege you have experienced. But what is the effect of that recognition? Will you be an advocate for change? Will you hold elected and law enforcement officials accountable henceforth or are you simply making a statement to assuage your self-imposed guilt?
Where was your outrage over the shooting of Ezell Ford in Los Angeles last week? Where was the outrage for the shooting death of James Boyd in Albuquerque last month? As a matter of fact, since 2010 the Albuquerque police have shot and killed 26 people. There were protests in March that turned violent…where was the outrage?
Did you know that between March and the end of April, 2014, there were three police officer involved shootings is Salinas, California?
What about the shooting death of John Winkler by L.A. Sheriff deputies? He was the victim of a stabbing, had called 911 and was “mistaken” for an aggressive person and shot by officers. So was a second victim.
What about Bobby Gerald Bennett in Dallas? He is mentally ill, as was Mr. Ford.
The list goes on and on.
Let me say once again, an average of 400 people killed by police shootings every year. This number does not reflect surviving victims of police-involved shootings . These names above include Latinos, Blacks and Whites. They include the mentally ill, the poor and the homeless. They are the same folks we are likely to exclude from our pews
If you’re going to stand in solidarity with the residents of Ferguson, or any community of color, don’t make apologies for privilege. Rather, make concerted efforts to dismantle institutional racism. Make concerted efforts in your communities to require greater accountability of law enforcement. Walk with people of color not only in protest but also in your day-to-day lives. Walk with them into our pews. And most importantly, talk to us, people of color, racial and ethnic, as well as cultural difference, about our experiences and perspectives , we want you to understand us. Believe me…we know what white privilege looks like without your telling us.