I am privileged. For the first part of my life, I may have realized but didn’t understand.
First, go read this by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This is the best piece of writing I have seen in decades, maybe my whole life.
I am white. I am a light skinned Celtic-American, second generation without even a hint of Spanish Armada troops in my phenotype.
Except for the first half of the 9th grade, there were no people of color in any of my classes. The 9th grade thing is that the town in which we lived did not have a high school, so we went to the city next door for high school. On Christmas break, my family moved to a different state. My dad got a better paying job.
I graduated high school, joined the Navy and had a slow immersion into a different culture. In the 50s and 60s, African-Americans in the Navy were restricted to just a few rates such as cook and steward.
I served 21 years and still did not understand how by just having ‘white’ skin I was able to advance in rate.
Slowly, by going to college, by reading (a lot), by continuing to educate myself, I am able to see a much different world than I saw in the 1970s.
I am proud of the work I did four years ago helping to get then Senator Obama elected President.
I am working again to help re-elect President Obama. Not out of a feeling of guilt that I should have done something different forty years ago, but because I am a Progressive and believe what President Obama is trying accomplish is much better for the country than what any Republican would do.
Also, this just out by Mr. Coates.