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Reflections, Realisations & Responsibility

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I recently read a post about Critical Race theory. It was the first time I’d heard of it and I did a quick google search to get a basic gist.

My first thought was that it sounded like a positive step away from just trying to impose rules and towards changing thoughts. The idea ( which was mentioned ) that it was more focused on stories and feelings experienced and expressing views, in particular appealed as it’s a great way to change people’s impressions and understanding where rules only prevent them from expressing their old views.
My second thought was nervousness when I came to the idea that white people shouldn’t have a say in this movement ( more on my reasons in a moment & they may not be what you’re thinking ).
My third was a niggling doubt when it came to the idea of White Privilege ( again more later & please keep an open mind until you’ve read it all ).

So here I am with these feelings niggling at the back of my mind. I spent a day just chewing them over to get right to the heart of them. It’s easy, after all, to feel opposed to something if you don’t know why it’s irritating you.
Anyway I wanted to share my thoughts and musings here.

White voice –
Straight off lets be honest, there’s no way I have the knowledge or right to tell someone else what they feel or have experienced so not having a say on someone else’s experience is to be expected.
So what worried me?
Hitler, Napoleon & Trump.
Yes, really. You see the whole point of what’s happening right now is to give people who don’t have them the same freedoms the rest of us have but that’s not necessarily what everyone sees; for some it’s been sold as a kind of hostile takeover or power struggle and the idea that they can’t have a say adds to that sense; for others it’s an unknown quantity and they feel left out. In all these cases if people don’t express and discuss these feelings – hopefully coming to more understanding – they end up burying them and building on them over time until they become great resentments.
From what I can see it happened in Germany after the 1st world war when people felt put on with the sanctions and voted in someone who said “It’s all the Jews fault,” and with so many people who felt they had lost their voices and were losing their work in the US before Trump. I don’t want to watch the world go in cycles from better to backlash and round again, not any more.

White Privilege –
This was the harder one for me to get to the bottom of and took a lot of thought.
You see, when I read the word Privilege it makes me think of something that can only be held if you are granted it, a benefit so to speak. However, what we’re talking about are things like the right to feel safe, protected, heard & respected among other things.
These are RIGHTS, things which all should have without question or requirements.
My first feeling with privilege was that these are things which are going to be taken away and, more so, that I was being looked at as some kind of thief or criminal for having them.
Looking at it again in this light I can see that it’s more a question of realising that these are things which we need to be aware not everyone has yet.
In truth it was only in 1832 that there was a move to allow more men of lower class to vote, and I doubt I could have voted before 1839, while the right to free health care only appeared in 1948, so those rights I take for granted have only become so relatively recently.

The other thing we forget too often is that with these rights come responsibilities – If I can vote then I bear some responsibility for my government; if have a house I must look after it; if I am safe I must make sure not to put others in danger; if I am respected for me then I must offer that respect and understanding to others.

Too often we forget to pass on the rights we have or offer the same respect and kindness to others that is offered to us.
This, I think, is the most important thing, the fact that we are responsible and that our freedoms and rights makes us so and give us the chance to give some goodness out without losing anything ourselves.

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2 thoughts on “Reflections, Realisations & Responsibility

  1. Reblogged this on The Sound Hole and commented:
    This is an interesting perspective from a fellow blogger. We’ve been having some discourse about what’s going on in the world, what’s going on with race. I always enjoy the dialogue!


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