Monday, September 22, 2014

Recognizing and overthrowing privilege

GUEST: Peter Heymann, member of The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB) and the Anti-Racist Alliance, talks about the focus of his organization and their workshop called Undoing Racism Workshops in bringing a clear and deliberate anti-racist structural analysis to social service, education, corporate and community institutions and practice.

Peter, Gary and I were all in agreement about white privilege. We don't have to worry about our kids arrested on the streets and taken to jail. White kids are exempt. We don't have to worry about a cop shooting first and asking questions later. They don't shoot white kids.

Our kids' teachers in school aren't paid less. They don't run out of supplies and books for their classes. The average amount spent on educating our kids is much more than in the city schools. Westchester schools spend about twice per student as the inner city schools in NYC.

So would it help if white people became more aware of their white privilege? Confronted with an economic and criminal justice system that is blatantly unfair to people of color, would whites join the resistance? Would they start insisting that their candidates for public office refrain from using racism in campaigns? Would they begin to hold the criminal justice system accountable for the New Jim Crow? Would they protest the unequal distribution of educational resources in the state? Would they demand that TV programs stop depicting black men as criminals? Would they march with African Americans when another unarmed black kid is shot down?

Like the assault on our climate, racism is built into our economic system. Separating the few haves from the many have-nots has always been good for the people at the top. Recognizing and overthrowing privilege should be the goal of the multiracial 99%.



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