White privilege is reading a book and not having to hear a character be described as “ebony”, “olive”, “tanned” skinned or anything else to naturally assume that the character resembles you or is relatable.
I’m not giving these guys a cookie (TM) for doing the right thing—which is something you should do without expectation of reward. I’m highlighting this letter as an example (a sadly rare one) of how social justice activists in positions of privilege can use that privilege to make their movements…
Just because some people don’t think of themselves as having any class identity, it doesn’t mean that they have none. Indeed, under certain circumstances, the very lack of awareness of elements of one’s own identity is a significant reflection of that identity. For example, my being and having a sense of myself as white in this society can be said to be reflected in the fact that it does not occur to me to note it, nor am I required by convention to note it; the conventions about self-description allow me to refer to myself simply as “woman”. But if I were a Black woman, people would think I was withholding important information if I did not qualify “woman” with “Black”.
As a nodding triumph to “civil rights,” the United States now celebrates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as if this posthumous honor somehow atones for, sanctifies, and magically overrides the continuing legalized murder, incarceration, and disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of women, children, and men.
Wait, I am getting ahead of myself.
In most of the fifty states, there is a Martin Luther King Day.
In “Virginia,” where white people were evidently terrified out of their minds at the prospect of a day honoring a black man, the state government came up with a commromise.
In “Virginia,” they celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr./Robert E. Lee Day.
Local Folks call it “King-Lee Day” for short.
To contextualize, this would be kinda like honoring people who have died from violent crimes with a Jeffrey Dahmher Day.