Right now so many parents—especially white parents—are learning what the word "privilege" really means.
Famous parents like Reese Witherspoon are posting notes about how they will explore this concept with their children, news sites are running headlines that ask "What do 'white privilege' and 'ally' mean?"—but before people can understand what those words mean they need to understand what oppression and racism mean.
Oppression and racism are more than a knee on your neck while you're gasping for air.
Racism is trying to prepare your child at 4 years old that someone might not want to play with them and may call them the n-word because of the color of their skin.
Racism is knowing you're less likely to receive adequate medical care due to the color of your skin.
Racism is knowing you're 2.4 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than your white neighbors are.
Oppression is learning next to nothing in school about your history and the genocide of your people and having the murder of your people glossed over and pushed aside.
Oppression and racism mean living in a world that consistently and relentlessly tells you you're not enough because your skin is too dark and your hair is too curly.
Oppression is being forced to debate the ideology that you and your fellow brothers' and sisters' lives matter.
Oppression is being forced time and time again to prove your worth as a human being.
Oppression is, despite having proof of murder over and over again, a public requirement for Black people to posthumously parade a degree, family, or a well-respected job—something to prove that we did not deserve to be slain.
Oppression is guilty until proven innocent despite what is mandated by law.
Oppression is having our deaths become trauma porn as videos, stills, and 911 calls splashed across social media.
Dismantling white supremacy, fighting oppression, and addressing racism will be a life-long process. A process that all of us need to pursue.
Many of those who benefit from a system of oppression will not go quietly into the night. They will tell us to get over it so they can go back to the way things were. They will tell us to be grateful things are better than they were 100 years ago and not to forget our place in this world as Black people.
What they fail to remember is our legacy did not begin under the chains of oppression and racism.
We began as Kings and Queens. We began as human beings. Many are waking up. And we will not rest until we are free.
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