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Bigotry – Think Before You Speak

March 2, 2020

I have recently been defriended online by someone I know in real life because of a confrontation on a Facebook thread.  I called them out on a comment made by them which did not understand how racism works, and it devolved from there.  For the interested, it was on a thread which began when I posted this article with the comment that all white people should read it.  The defriending shocked me and that’s because my white privilege meant I didn’t see it coming from them.  Anyone who was not white would have detected the attitudes a mile off long before me, I’m sure.

White people have privilege in society where racism exists, because that is what racism gives as a benefit to white people.  Likewise, able-bodied privilege is a direct result of ableism, hetero-privilege is a result of homophobia, cisgender privilege is a result of transphobia, male privilege is a result of sexism, religious privilege is a result of Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism (this also crosses with racism), social/homed privilege is a result of anti-Traveller/Romani discrimination and anti-homeless bigotry, and economic privilege is a result of the economic class system.  Bigotry always gifts a privilege to a class of people whether they ask for it or not, and whether they are actively or passively bigoted themselves, or even if they fight against that privilege.  Until those systems of discrimination are got rid of, privilege will exist and classes of people will benefit from it.

IT. IS. NOT. A. CHOICE. TO. BENEFIT. FROM. YOUR. PRIVILEGE.

Check your privilege

Privilege will ONLY be overcome when all those people who benefit from it dismantle the system which perpetuates it.  If you do not take active steps to fight the privilege you benefit from you are perpetuating the system.

All white people, including myself, are imbued with racism because that is the system in which we have been raised.  It is not something we choose to have, it is something that is.  Because of this, no person of colour can be racist towards white people.  They can make comments which relate to white people as a whole but this does not uphold a system of privilege that relies on racism and is therefore not racist.  Again, likewise with all other forms of privilege listed above (and I’ve probably missed some).

The UK likes to think it is better than the USA and many other countries with regard to treating people fairly.  It is not, and as the divisions grow wider we are getting worse.

If we do not address these issues now, if those of us with privileges do not fight against those privileges, then the divisions will only expand and discontent will further foment.  The only result of that will be an explosion of anger, resentment and disenfranchisement.  If people don’t feel they belong, they are valued and they are equal in their society then they will not feel they belong to that society.  Why then should they support the society in its continued existence?  This will lead to revolt, and I know which side I’ll be on.  It won’t be the one that privileges me.

We need to do better, all the time, now.  Be the change, don’t be the cause.

how-to-be-an-ally

From → Ideology, political

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