Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Whites, really think about your privilege

To us white privileged, and we are, every single white person in America, no matter our circumstances: Take a few minutes to really think about this. Really think. 
What if you are preparing to walk out your front door to run an errand, go to a doctor’s appointment, go jogging, visit your mother? You, as a white person, gather your keys and go. Can a person of color do the same? After all, this is America, right? Well, no, for a person of color that simple act is not so simple. Out that front door lies possible danger. Maybe this is a good day and all will go well, a simple errand run. But, because their skin is not white there is another frightening possibility. They may not come back home. 
Cautions from mothers, wives, fathers, husbands are repeated. Do you have all your IDs? If you are stopped, remember to put both your hands on the steering wheel. To your teenage son, “Don’t be a smart ass. Stay calm, be polite. You know the drill.” And the person they love leaves with a hug. And the person who stays goes about their day with worry in their heart until they see their loved one open the door, safely returned. 
This happens every single day a person of color opens that door to enter the outside world. 
White person, just imagine that. Most of us are good white people and we are horrified at these attacks on persons of color. But we don’t have to live the same as persons of color. We are white privileged. We need to stop those horrendous attacks. Now!
 I feel helpless as this goes on and on. I don’t know what to do but I know we have to do something and start now. Maybe start by realizing exactly how different we are able to live our lives than persons of color. Maybe talking to our friends who don’t understand this fact of life. Not on political lines just friend to friend. I know that is a small act but we have to start somewhere. And with hope that bit by bit everyone, regardless of color, can grab their keys and walk out the door without a second thought. Hoping that this and many other efforts will help lead to no tolerance for tragic outcomes for any American. 
Jo LaFontaine Van Buskirk
Bristol

Share this story:

More News
Op/Ed

Editorial: Sheriff reform needed; not so easy to do it

A bill introduced last week to reform the way Vermont sheriffs operate is a step in the ri … (read more)

Op/Ed

Ways of Seeing: Reflecting on Dr. King’s dream

Equality is not equity. Dr. King made this point repeatedly. He argued that while white Am … (read more)

Op/Ed

Building the library of the future: Libraries enhance our workforce

I’ve noticed that many politicians talk about the importance of preparing America’s labor … (read more)

Share this story: