Yesterday I read " I need to talk to Spiritual White Women about White Supremacy" by Wild Mysitc Woman and it stirred so much in me. A lot of it was confronting, to be honest some of it I felt offended by at first, other parts hit me straight in the stomach but what I took away was that I truly am from white privilege and I had no idea what that meant until now.
I haven't known how to write this because there's conflicting notions of ‘ I don't want to offend’, 'people won't understand', 'what if they're uncomfortable' 'you don't have all the facts, but ( and with a giant pause even now ) I type on, from the heart and with the best of intentions.
I can no longer sit in silence and ignore things in order to be comfortable or keep the peace.
There was a KKK rally recently and millions of people around the world aren't and haven't been experiencing a peaceful existence. I have witnessed a huge contrast between what we're taught/told by mainstream media and the narrative of our society and what the realities are like for people on the ground in certain countries and by not sharing these stories, and helping to bridge the gap, my silence actually perpetuates a system that oppresses & hurts others.
The fact that I'm writing this from the comfort of my safe home in Australia, knowing people will at least start to read it highlights exactly what Im here to discuss - my/our white privilege.
80% of you in my tribe here are female.. and from the faces I see on my social media, majority of you are white. So I bet even reading those words made you uncomfortable..and I totally get it, but please, stay with me!
I used to hate the term 'white privilege' because as someone who considers herself a humanitarian, I care deeply for others and do what I can to help, and felt this term reflected the type of selfish rich assholes who knowingly take advantage of others. But I was wrong.. and that's where this gets real..and awkward.
My life although it's had its ups and downs is a privileged one. Growing up in this time as a white women in a 1st world country means I've never had to worry about bombs dropping on my head, where my next meal was coming from, angry men and women marching down my street with fire lanterns yelling at me to get out, or people assuming I'm a terrorist because of the way I look.
And what did I do to deserve this freedom and luxury? Nothing. I was just born in the right place..at the right time. And having parents who both grew up in Africa, my life honestly could have been very different to what it is today.
While I'm not implying that every single one of you who is a white Australian has it easy or lived without trauma or hardship, I do believe that generally speaking we are far better off than those of colour within Australia and even more so those of colour around the world right now. And if we're willing, collectively we're in an incredible position to do something about it. By educating ourselves further, acknowledging the reality of where we sit and learning about what we can do with this privilege to help others.
Ive traveled ( freely ) for the last decade and the only time I have been interrogated by authorities is when I was traveling with my ex, who is American of Lebanese descent and looks more Arab than white - we were stopped for 6 hours at the border for no other reason than that.
I didn't understand how far my white privilege reached into every part of my life & how I do or don't show up because of it.
Ive been volunteering in Africa for a few years and last year experienced a really traumatic few months in Uganda. I was drained, heartbroken and it was all really heavy, so I stepped back to recover and allow someone else to help.
A few years ago I stayed in Palestine, traveled the cities and stayed among the dust and rubble the Palestinians are forced to call home within the confines of the aggressive barbed wire lined wall that keeps them trapped. And I am yet to share these photos and stories because it was ' too political'.
That is my white privilege. Being able to opt in and out.
It's us being able to watch or hear about the KKK rallies and then go about planning our weekend. We do this unknowingly because we are safe in this country and it doesn't effect our day to day. And that is our privilege. One that we did nothing to earn and one that we are no more entitled to than any other human.
I'm not trying to shame anyone or cause guilt around it and I know if you're still reading this, it's because you're a compassionate, caring, curious Being. So, Im sharing this with you to get us all thinking more deeply about how we can use this privilege to stand by and for those without it and raise them up so there is no longer a divide.
I can't stay silent. Yes, this is awkward. It is uncomfortable. And I know I'm going to f*ck it up along the way but this conversation needs to be happening among us. By sharing this I am also opening myself up for huge criticism but it's nothing compared to what those of colour, and in fact any other minority, experience daily..and if I'm not willing to speak up now about what this is and what we can do - when will I?
One of the main things people come to me for as a Life + Soul Coach is to learn how they can bring more meaning into their lives and all of them go away understanding how they can use their gifts and themselves to help serve others. I'm not here to help people fill their lives with luxury goods around a laptop lifestyle with no purpose. I'm here to help people connect to themselves , their purpose and one another and part of that is understanding what divides us and the role we play.
My aim is to continue to share my stories, my experiences and the honour I've had to get to know people around the world from all different walks of life, outside of my white Australian privilege, to change some perceptions and perspectives.
So why am I telling you this? Because I know you care and the change starts with us.
I want you to help me, and for us to be the change. To start to learn more together, to discuss this, to reach out and to create a shift.
To be willing to pull someone up when they say something that usually starts with "I'm not racist but...". Educating ourselves about the history and situation of Indigenous Australians so we can understand why we need to do more than just say 'sorry and then sharing that with others, talking to refugees about where they come from and how they arrived here, and understanding how our white privilege effects others.
Are you willing to connect human to human? To step outside our white bubble with me into the reality of the world around us, be ok in the unknown and the uncomfortable and use our big open hearts to be vulnerable enough to learn and change?
If Donald Trump and KKK rallies aren't enough to wake us up now to act, we will part of the history books that generations look back on and wonder WTF we were doing!
Please comment, share, and let me know if you're willing to go on this journey with me or educate me on what you may know in relation to these topics and issues.
Love & Light,