The lively and wonderful discussion regarding white privilege (http://www.redroom.com/author/tim-wise) has often been a topic of interest in my life... I am particularly interested in the debate, if you will, as it pertains to the lives of children and the plans and dreams that we as parents set out to help them develop in life. I personally have always found it difficult to communicate with the intensity of emotion that often accompanies this subject matter... I come from a racially diverse home, and grew up in the sixties and seventies - but I never really "got it", the whole race issue... it didn't make any sense to me then, always seemed wrong (and stupid) to dislike someone simply because of the colour of his or her skin (of which said person has very little control over, save cave dwellers and sunbathers).
My grandmothers were white women, my grandfathers were black men; and my parents, my brothers, and I were all brown - very, very, light brown... I don't recall ever being exposed to white privilege...odds are, it was there, right in front of my face, and I was oblivious to it... I am an adult now - still brown; still descendent from Norwegian, African, and Irish peoples... somewhat less naive than I was decades ago, therefore I see things a bit differently in regards to these race issues. Most likely there are those who would nonetheless still accuse me of continuing to be oblivious to white privilege, (because I'm "so light-skinned", or I'm "the acceptable black", or because my child "looks white") - I stand before you, being duly charged with indifference to one of the great causes of "our people"... by the way - who are my people? (Answer - all of you are, now go behave and leave me alone)...
Take care, keep peace - Tehry Smith (if you are interested in seeing just how light-skinned I am, http://www.redroom.com/member/mstehry -
I am currently working on a piece for exhibition entitled "Thinly Veiled" - which deals in part with racial identity. Some of the self-portraits from that series are available here on my Red Room page - there is a reason the slide show goes from a black and white photo, then to the colour print of the same shot...)