Monday, June 22, 2015

When I confront prejudice, I ask people to imagine themselves as a person of color for one day.  Visualize that life.  Of course, I've not experienced being black firsthand, but I'm observant enough to notice side glances, frowns, curiosity and yes - even fear - when I'm with a young man who has become sort of a nephew to me.  He enters a restaurant first. I'm taking some photos outdoors and enter maybe a minute later.  As I approach the restaurant check-in, there are looks in his direction by other customers and staff.  Implication? Why are you here?  I go over to him and the obsequiousness begins.  Later we're walking in a place filled with tourists.  Always the shutterbug, I'm pausing to snap, then scurry to catch up. Slight movements away from him, some suspicious glances, and subtle rudeness surround him.  Not me.  That is white privilege and I am viscerally aware of it.   Imagine that your life is like that. Profoundly unfair and damaging?  Yes.