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Letter: Dear white privilege

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

I am aware that this letter will never reach your desk. It will be another angry letter from an angry Black woman who gets paid just barely enough to make ends meet.

 I am a cis-hetero Black woman, with only so much privilege. Someone, you will never learn more about because your day-to-day consists of dismissing issues that impact frontline workers.  

I am also an activist, advocate, and most importantly, a human being. I am a woman who knows when it’s time to speak up, and I am tired of keeping silent. We are living in times where those with white privilege, like you, need to use your influence and title for good. You expect other people to do the dirty work of managing  the mental health of human beings who face neglect from their workers on a daily basis. Not to mention the decades of betrayal, topped up by living in a pandemic that has exacerbated systemic and environmental racism. I learned from my ancestors to always speak the truth. I go to bed every night anxious about how to house my caseload of people, how to combat microaggressions, how to enjoy my life with my partner, how to stay present even though I want to imagine a world without this much chaos, violence, and neglect.

Our definition of human rights is widely different because I am a woman with melanated skin, and you carry a system of protection called white supremacy behind you so nobody will hold you accountable. I do not know how you sleep at night. 

Racism doesn’t impact you because you are of European descent. Racism doesn’t impact you because you make too much money, and money equals power. 

I’m angry every single day. I have to ground myself every single day. I practice extreme measures of self-care daily. I am angry. I am livid. I cry because I cannot hold in my anger anymore. The decisions you make negatively impact the mental stability of frontline workers; the decisions you make affect the emotional stability of anyone who works for you, the decisions you make determine how poor you are 

Wealthy folks get away with more than most. White people cover for each other all the time, it’s called complicity and nepotism,and it happens when  the wrong set of people end up in positions they are not qualified for. Nobody wants to lose their job so they keep quiet. I also know you don’t care about that. My question is what do you care about? 

Signed, an angry Black woman

See also: See also: Tired bodies, a poem by Martha Mutale

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One Comment

  1. I’m a white, heterosexual male in my fifties. I’ve been married over twenty years and am college educated. I was raised by a single mother who raised 7 children. I’ve spent time in Northern Ireland. I was catholic and it was during the troubles. I felt fear because of my faith, but I could blend in. I could disguise myself. That’s white privilege. Although I was raised poor, I know it well.
    I guess my point is not all white guys are bad. I’ve had experience with calling out racist pricks to their faces. I used to feel that I couldn’t help my brothers and sisters of color. But, I think I’ve found one way to help. I film police when I see them speaking to my brothers and sisters who are not white. I think that if I stand there I’m saying, “I’m watching you and people will believe me, I’m white.”
    I think that if you saw me on the street Martha, you would dismiss me as a privileged white man. You’re correct. I’ve always lived in a society that values me over you. I live in it, but loath it. But, if I saw you on the street, I’d call you sister and smile at you. I wish I could do more for the world. I can’t change racist pricks, but i can use my privilege and film cops. I wish we could meet. I dig angry black women. Heck, I dig most people. Maybe I’m saying that you should have hope that there are white men who actually think about the struggles our sisters and brothers, with your experiences have.

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