Bill Walsh reflects on what he sees as one of the most pivotal events of our time period.
I’m exceedingly open to other viewpoints, and have never believed opposing ideas should get in the way of a friendship or relationship. But racial inequality, removal of women’s rights, and prejudice toward the LGBT community are areas where I just don’t have it in me to exercise the slightest bit of tolerance.
It’s 2014, we shouldn’t have to explain this to people anymore.
Last night was easily one of the most pivotal events of our time period, and every bit of denial and race-blaming today will just illustrate the systemic problem. While I doubt anyone enjoys seeing violence, I am crystal clear why it came to this. Speaking loudly hasn’t worked, nor has carrying signs. When the signs fail the sledgehammer comes out, and I totally get it. While I don’t advocate destruction, I understand every torched car and broken window. Less Dr. King, more Malcolm.
What most people don’t see about white privilege is that as an upper middle class white dude I have the luxury of shutting it all off. If I’m uncomfortable with what I see, I can turn off the news feed and go back to weighing in on Kim Kardashian or taking photos of my children. Those on the receiving end of inequality can’t shut it off, they live with it. Black folks can’t magically choose to avoid racial violence, women can’t choose to not be harassed or simply stop worrying about sexual assault. The very essence of privilege is the insulated bubble, the luxury of denial.
So what’s the best thing white people can do today to be supportive? For starters, acknowledge inequality and start learning to recognize the symptoms. Be willing to step outside comfort and ask tough questions. Check statistics and become aware. If you’re ignoring what’s going on, ask yourself why you’re able to do that, why you’re even afforded the ability to change the channel. Maybe things aren’t what they seem.
Originally post on Bill Walsh’s Facebook page
Photo: Christian Gooden / St. Louis Post-Dispatch / AP photo A protestor poses for a “hands up” photo in front of a burning building on West Florissant Ave. in Ferguson, Mo. on Monday.