About my 'racism' and 'privilege'
Let me be blunt — I have a real problem being told about my supposed subconscious racism. There are some real racists still around, of every skin color, but assuredly, I'm not one of them. My wife and stepson (and large family of in-laws) are Asian, my goddaughter is black, and there is no need to further list friends and associates who may be of different hues. I treat everyone I know or may meet in a friendly, fair, and equitable manner, unless or until they give me a concrete reason to act differently.
I'm a pretty simple guy at heart, so let's not make the world any more complicated. We should focus and be judged on behaviors and overt actions. As sentient beings, we all have choices to make, and usually are able to think before we act or speak out. We're motivated by a lifetime of different experiences, and that definitely has an impact on who we are and what we do. Trying to get inside everyone's head is fraught with problems, so let's Defund the Thought Police without delay.
As a Jewish-American, I'm well aware of what can happen when real racism and evil intent go unchecked. We have an obligation to never forget the horrors that have been done. At the same time we don't dwell on the past but do what we can moving forward to improve our own lives.
Am I a product of privilege? Yes — let me start with Parental Privilege. I was born into a family with two loving and strict parents. They raised me to know I could accomplish anything I wanted if I made full use of my God-given talents. Also to know there were firm limits on how to behave at all times. Then there is Athletic Privilege...I have been coordinated and skilled enough to be on sports teams my whole life, playing with and against others of all races, creeds, and income levels. None of that matters in sports — it is a true meritocracy. You have to cooperate as a member of a team, and the quantifiably best performance is what gets rewarded.
Lastly, I'll call it Geographic Privilege. I was fortunate to be born here in America. Everyone here should appreciate that he does have a true head start on the rest of the world. That's why so many foreign-born strive to come here, and most of them feel like lottery winners if they're able to get in.
So by all means, check yourself, check all your privileges at the door, and let's move on.
Image credit: Santeri Viinamäki via Wikimedia Commons.