In the documentary White Like Me, Tim Wise talks of his early life and how he came to view the world in the way the he does, specific to his experience of white privilege. He admits that for some time he was ignorant to his own privilege and was blind to the advantages as a white person. He talked about “how dangerous and damaging it is when white people…are blind to racial inequality and our own privileges.” This made me reflect on the way that I view my experiences and question how my race has shaped my life.
As a white female, I have struggled to see how I could be beneficial to a movement like Black Lives Matter. I have often thought it is not my battle to fight, and that I could have no possible reason to get involved. However, I am beginning to see that it does not matter that I am not active in creating new issues for black people. My blindness to my privilege is detrimental to movements like Black Lives Matter, and I have never been made to reflect on how certain things that I take for granted, may not be the same for others purely based on race. Peggy McIntosh examined this well in her essay White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack where she stated that “whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege”. She also wrote about her shift in thinking from racism as “something that puts others at a disadvantage” to the idea of white privilege, which puts her at an advantage. I think this is interesting as it allows me to understand exactly how I fit into the Black Lives Matter movement as a white person.