Great article on white privilege here. Some thoughts:
*I talk a lot about this concept in my day-to-day life, usually avoiding the term “white privilege” because, well, it tends to scare white people and make me come off as the angry Latino. I’d say that the vast majority of rooms I find myself in (particularly in the theater world) are full of unspoken but readily accepted privilege, and that even the positive-minded conversations we’re having during this election cycle drip with that privilege.
*Years ago, I taught at an activistic high school/afterschool program run primarily by people of color (Latinos, to be precise). There were a remarkable number of women in high places in the organization, and it was through my relationships with those women that I first became aware of my male privilege–the ability to dress however I wanted without fear or repercussion, the fact that I was instantly taken more seriously be certain people in power due to my gender, the inherent assumed authority I was given in rooms with female peers and even superiors. Over the five years I worked with those women, I learned (in often painful ways) to be aware of my privilege, relinquish it when necessary, embrace it on occasion, and most of all, to empathize with the women who were victims of it.
I think that one of the reasons I was able to understand male privilege is because I was (and still am) on the flip side of white privilege. I find myself in rooms (often) where the burden of speaking for all people of color falls to me, because I’m the only non-white in the room. I write plays that are destined to compete for single spots in theater’s seasons with every other writer of color, even if our work is vastly, impossibly different. I see how screwed up the system is, and it makes me not want to perpetuate that system with my own privileged power.
*One of my old colleagues–a white women (now married to a Dominican man)–wrote this a few years back. I think it’s a good place to start.