In light of the recent death of George Floyd, many United States citizens are examining not only the actions of police officers, but also their own actions and their own privilege. I, being a white women, knew that I was privileged, but I didn't really grasp the full extent of it. With the help of stories from some of my friends who happen to be people of color and multiple first hand accounts from people in the black community, I've compiled a list of events that white people completely take for granted, because we don't face the same issues that POC face.
Getting Pulled Over
Don't get me wrong, no one enjoys getting pulled over, but people of color have it so much harder than white people do. I was already fairly aware that when stopped by an officer, as a rule, POC have been taught to keep their hands on their steering wheals, their dash boards, or any other visible location. This is already messed up enough, but on top of that, one of my good friends who is Hispanic says that he always takes his wallet out of his pocket and lays it on the dashboard when he gets pulled over.
As a white person, I honestly never really thought of these things because they really aren't an issue for me, but people of color have to deal with them on any given day, and have been taught to do some from a young age.
Having Their Citizenship Questions
I don't know about the other white people out there, but I, never once, have had my citizenship questions, but it happens to my friends and other POC almost on a daily bases. From being asked when they came to America to being told to go back where they came from, despite being born in the U.S. or already having their citizenship, people assume because they are from different minorities that their home isn't America. I could just as easy have been born in a different country, but no one asks me because I have white skin.
In hind sight, this could go both ways in an interracial relationship, but it's an ever present thought to a person of color. If they get into a relationship with someone of a different race, they automatically have to worry about receiving hate from other people. For some reason, some people think that you need to be in a relationship with someone that's same race as you, which honestly just doesn't make much sense, but then again, neither does racism.
Okay, hear me out. I barely want to raise children in a world like this, but it is so much more difficult for people who aren't white. Imagine beind bullied, judged, and descriminated against your entire life and then passing that on to your children, knowing that the exact same thing will eventually happen to them. Every parent worries about their child, that's normal, but white parents don't have to worry about their children being murdered just because of the color of their skin. People of color are living in a world where they have to worry about that every single day and it's disgusting.
Along with all of the above things, POC just have to deal with daily life. Things like going for a run or just going out to the store or the gas stations are all threats to people who aren't white. Who knows when someone is going to call the police because they "look suspicious" just doing activities that every American does, make some racist comment, or try to harm them because of their skin color. Seriously take some time to consider George Floyd when you think of the struggles people of color have in every day life. The police were called on him because he was trying to buy something with a check that was completely okay to use, and the police decided he was resisting and just murdered him, for no good reason. That is the America people of color live in every day and it's horrble.
All of this is the exact definition of white privelege. This is the reason so many people are trying to fight the "All lives matter" idea, because, while it is true, we aren't the issue right now. You're life may be hard, everyone's is at some point in time, but you don't face the same every day issues and concerns as someone of a different race does. Please think about that the next time you see some peaceful protestors or a Facebook post covering the BLM movement. This is what is being faught in the United States right now, all that's being asked is the same privelege that white people have for everyone, and in my opinion, that really isn't that much to ask for.