Privilege is a Privilege

Tulsa

Reconstructing the Dreamland: The Tulsa Riot of 1921: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation by Alfred L. Brophy and Death in a Promised Land The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 by Scott Ellsworth. Eyewitness account.

Even if you are the most progressive, most egalitarian white American who ever lived, even if you were born with nothing, worked hard to change that, and succeeded, this is some of the history which gave you–a white American–a headstart.

It’s hard to reconcile that with the knowledge that you worked hard, that you are smart, that your road was not easy and never sure. But you can. Because you work hard, because you are smart, because you know how to travel roads that are not easy.

And once you’ve reconciled this–or perhaps to help you reconcile this–you can work for remediation.

Because you know how important it is to benefit from your own hard work and your own smarts–no matter who you are or what you were born with.

And you owe this to your communities, to the people this history harmed, to the people still harmed by this history. My privilege–your privilege–was not earned; it was bought with this history of injustice and hate and harm. The debt requires your hard work.

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