By this stage you may be wondering when I am going to get off the ‘P’ train. Admittedly it is the ‘flavour of the month’ for me, as I have recently immersed myself in the topic of ‘multiculturalism’ and racism. I have participated in anti-racism training, engaged in numerous conversations, attended forums, trawled cyberspace for relevant news and opinion pieces, and read a range of articles from ‘intelligent’, ‘informed’ and ‘ignorant’ sources. Why the obsession? A case of the right time and the right place. I am perfectly positioned to explore this issue, located in a city that is responding to changing demographics, witnessing significant socio-political change on the world stage, and possessing the time to research, reflect and respond. If I stood by and simply allowed it all to unfold I would be abrogating my responsibility as an educator, writer and citizen of the world. More about that later. First, I have more to say about the 'P' word.
For those of you who have been following my story, you would recall that my mother had a Catholic upbringing in Belfast and my father was an Anglo-Indian, born in Calcutta. When I first encountered this notion of ‘white privilege’, I understood it to be advantage held by only those folks with wealth or social status. Some people interpret it as being ‘born with a silver spoon’. I must stress that this is not the meaning of ‘privilege’ as defined by those involved in critical race analysis. Since reflecting on this issue of race through the lens of my own family history, I have come to a clearer understanding of what it means to have ‘white privilege’. In Part One of this series, I opened with an examination of privilege (or the lack thereof) within my mother’s experience of sectarian segregation and religious profiling in Northern Ireland. In this post, I will examine my father’s experience as a man of colour, leaving his birthplace to emigrate to a predominantly ‘white’ society.
Causes Cindy Sullivan Supports
Plan: 'Because I'm a Girl'
Fred Hollows Foundation