EDITORIAL: What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege


by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chiefby Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chief

Yesterday I was tagged in a post by an old high school friend, asking me and a few others a very public, direct question about white privilege and racism.  I feel compelled not only to publish his query but also my response to it, as it may be a helpful discourse for more than just a handful of folks on Facebook.

Here’s his post:

“To all of my Black or mixed race FB friends, I must profess a blissful ignorance of this “White Privilege” of which I’m apparently guilty of possessing. By not being able to fully put myself in the shoes of someone from a background/race/religion/gender/ nationality/body type that differs from my own makes me part of the problem, according to what I’m now hearing. Despite my treating everyone with respect and humor my entire life (as far as I know), I’m somehow complicit in the misfortune…

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2 thoughts on “EDITORIAL: What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege

  1. 325 likes and 556 comments on this post’s generating blog (so far!) inspires me to copy my own comment here on your site, Kate.
    I rarely comment on posts where so many others have chimed in eloquently already, but I have to add my voice to this one. I apologize for coming down hard on your friend, but if he truly cannot understand “white privilege” he has been sleep-walking through life.

    Has he never been touched or riled by a biographical flick with an example of prejudice toward one color that doesn’t exist when one is born white? A human interest story in a newspaper where “a kindly black person” is lauded for doing what was right – as if that were a RARE occurrence in the black community? Or walked down a dark street and heard footsteps approaching him from behind, and been relieved to find they were “white” footsteps? THAT’s white privilege.

    Here’s another story for him — to my [white] friend’s credit, a man who doesn’t think of himself as harboring prejudices of any sort, this is an example he now repeats to others:

    My white male friend (who has the patience of a gnat) needed to stop in a convenience store with a black friend of his – a store that is open all night and frequented by the local police force whenever they want coffee or a snack. As my friend paid and rushed out of the store, he kept yelling at his friend to GET a MOVE on, they were late!

    ONLY once the black man sauntered to the car and leisurely closed the door and fastened his seat belt, did the black man turn to say, “No black man is dumb enough to hurry out of a convenience store when there are cops around.” BTW – this, in an upscale neighborhood that is racially mixed. THAT’s white privilege.

    I could go on with probably dozens of other examples, as new ones pop up far too often for my comfort – as could he, if he paid attention at all. The fact that he hasn’t is perhaps the most insidious example of white privilege.



    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)

    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
“It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 2 people

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