By Dawn Cutaia
Being white is pretty awesome. Don’t get me wrong, if I were a white male instead of a white woman, my life would be even more awesome, but being a white female is still powerful.
Being white is an unearned privilege; I did absolutely nothing to get the white skin I have. Yet my white skin gives me power and credibility. I am not just a member of the club; I am a member of THE club.
And the best part is that I don’t have to show a membership card; the color of my skin is my membership card, which is very convenient. It frees up my hands to send text messages and post to Facebook on my iPhone 5.
Why is being white so powerful? It probably has something to do with the whole slavery thing. Yeah, I said it. Slavery. Why can’t blacks just get over it, right? I mean it was such a long time ago. And the minute that slavery was declared unconstitutional, former slave owners and former slaves had a great big party, where the former slaves invited their former owners over for dinner in the houses that the former slaves owned. Oh wait, that doesn’t sound right . . .
Whites don’t like to talk about slavery because we think blacks blame us for it. Unless you actually owned slaves, and I’m pretty sure that you haven’t, no one is blaming you for slavery. However, if you turn away from the racism that still exists today as a result of slavery; if you promote that racism; if you argue that it does not exist, you should absolutely feel guilty, because you are guilty — not just of hurting your fellow citizens, but hurting our entire country.
You don’t have to be a member of the KKK to be racist, but not being a member of the KKK does not mean you aren’t racist. Slavery may have been outlawed 150 years ago, but the Civil Rights Movement was less than 50 years ago. Fifty years ago blacks were still sitting in the back of the bus, drinking out of separate water fountains, being sprayed by fire hoses for peacefully protesting, and living in extreme poverty with substandard education.