Will My Children Know White Privilege?

247299_1715875979199_1187968379_n-2Ellie Myers,
Saint Louis, MO.

I was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri where the tension around race politics is palpable. Race never played a big role in my life, because it never had to. That is, until I started dating black men. I remember friends in high school joking about me going to, “Brown-Town”, which was the nick-name for the other side of the railroad tracks where the majority of African Americans lived in my community. Subtlety and not so subtlety my community let me know that dating an African American wasn’t the “right thing” to do. I continued to date black men, but race still wasn’t my problem. It wasn’t until one of them stuck, and as our relationship progressed, race became my problem too as our very different worlds collided. It was my problem when my friends and peers openly used the N word around us and I had no idea how to respond. It was my problem my family said subliminally racist things like, “he’s so articulate”. After a few years I naturally started thinking about our future family. I became increasingly aware as to the barriers that my non-white children would face. I am so thankful that my relationship brought institutional racism to light, but not everybody will have this same experience. As an adult I struggle with how to make racism white peoples’ problem too.


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