OED #7: Race, Racism, and Privilege

I think it’s hard to understand privilege when you are in the majority. That said, I have trouble with race and privilege. I don’t understand it. It doesn’t click because it makes so little sense to me to NOT be culturally diverse and equitable. I have worked in so many situations where there’s been people of color, and we worked together just fine. The other day, I was talking about how diverse my Cooperative Learning class was. We have people from Mexico, Thailand, China, Korea, and America, to name a few. During lunch, a classmate and I were talking as a group of Asian women were talking in their own language, and it was nice to see diversity in action.

I know in my nonprofit work, they have made progress in being equitable and diverse. They’ve met and declared an equity statement, they have an action plan, and they had team meetings specific to the topic. That’s nice and all, but they are all white women, with one woman of color (I just don’t know her ethnicity well enough to identify her without her permission). I am a white male contractor. I’m the only male in the organization, outside of the Board of Directors. They identified the disparity, the inequality, and are taking steps to… dare I say, correct it. It feels odd to say you can correct privilege. I don’t know the outcome of their efforts yet, but I wish them well