Fellow White People: We Need to Do Better
I woke up this morning and was immediately outraged. The video of Delta kicking off passengers for speaking another language made me sick. (Note: this has been debunked but the point still stands). As mad as I am, I can't empathize because my privilege as a white woman means I will never have to go through something as traumatizing as that. There are skeptics about the reality of the video and it hasn't been confirmed to be real, but incidents like this have happened numerous times before. The problematic details surrounding the video should not take away from the fact that racial profiling has been happening on airlines and continues to be a problem.
If you saw the video you were hopefully just as infuriated as I was to see people in the back waving and being extremely condescending. Their actions were insulting but that's not even the worst aspect of the situation. The number of passengers that sat there without any protest speaks volumes. The only people who were brave enough to speak up were people of color. Every white person on that plane who did not use their position of privilege to support the passengers being kicked off has failed minorities. That might sound harsh but it is true. If you do not stand up in times of injustice and racism, you are just as bad as the offender.
The inaction of white people is shown again in this video, depicting a white woman verbally attacking a minority woman in a checkout line. If this upsets you, now is the time to do something. Now is the time to stand up for minorities. Now is the time to fight injustice. We cannot turn a blind eye and allow hate and prejudice to continue to grow in this country. We have to use our privilege not to speak for minorities, but to amplify their voices and be sure they are heard.
Thumbnail photo from carriedorr.