I honor your point, but this article was specifically NOT about what you address here. I did my best to clarify that. I am completely and utterly on board with your points, and if you go back through my article you will notice that I made pains to address this. The timing of the article was a bit unfortunate that it landed right as the entire issue of white privilege imploded in our faces. In fact I wrote it before the issues of the day have forced discussions about white privilege. I was addressing something completely different. I rather feared that the article would be wholly misinterpreted, which I believe you may have here. I don’t possess the chops to write about white privilege, and how it affects the Black community. My purpose was to point out anger, jealousy and envy, NOT to take on the huge overarching issues that we are now grappling with today. I was touching on the completely different aspects of how jealousy twists us- not how white privilege touches all of us and is a scourge. I happen to agree. But that is not, and I repeat with quotes below to back me up, NOT the scope of this article.
Again, I don’t argue your points. But what you point out was not in any way the point of the article. Better minds than mine have indeed taken this on.
This is the key paragraph that I wrote to try to be very specific about the scope of the article:
YES race and birth location have influence. Of course they do. In far too many cases, way too much influence. No argument. But those things do not in and of themselves always guarantee a better life. Not at all. At least for the purposes of this article. While you and I could, and should by rights, discuss for days on end the implicit and explicit advantages of gender/skin color and other factors in society at large, because they do indeed matter, I am simply saying here that hate hurled at anyone for the notion of privilege or advantage is useless energy. Fundamental societal issues are a whole other matter and much larger than what I’m addressing here.
You and I are going to read various pieces on Medium through a filter, and right now that filter is a very painful one. I tried my damnedest to ensure that the article to which you object, and I understand why, was NOT a statement, treatise or forum on white privilege, but on petty jealousy. The terrible cost and waste of hate for hate’s sake, to blame because of jealousy. Not because of huge injustice and societal wrongs. That’s a completely different ball of wax, and one I cannot possibly unravel, nor should I.
Huge difference, Cheryl. I have seen articles that now identify white women as the enemy, without regard to individual backgrounds and beliefs and upbringing. Just hating doesn’t move us forward. Again, those are societal reactions, huge hurtful issues that this piece was not designed to address, nor does it. Nor can I. As a white woman with privileges, I am in no position to write about white privilege, at least with any agency or meaning.
This is another paragraph that I wrote specifically to address what you say here:
Again, the deeply painful and complex topic of White privilege in America, for example, is a much larger issue, and I do not have the skills or the chops to make that argument. I speak here to misplaced envy, jealousy, hate that happens between individuals and in social media.
I am honored that you read my material ,and I am pleased you were thoughtful enough to write a challenge. This isn’t about right or wrong. While I am unhappy that this particular piece landed at what has turned out to be a right awful moment in our history, I point out again, the scope has and never did have anything to do with white privilege per se.
I do my best not to read other’s pieces with the prejudice of our times, and I am not saying you did here. I do ask that you kindly take into account that I took multiple opportunities to clarify my point, and leave the very legitimate arguments about white privilege to people who can address it far better than I can.
And while you may feel some defensiveness in my article, there is none, and I have taken that question to heart. What hurts is hate. Hate hurled at anyone for any reason, hate used to weaponize relationships, hate used instead of a genuine attempt to understand and learn from each other. I don’t apologize for nor do I condone how people of color are treated, for I grew up with a mixed family. My understanding is perhaps a little deeper than those who didn’t but even so my skin color affords me a POV that will forever be outside the experience of minorities. As someone who has worked in diversity for years, that is something seared in my consciousness.
However, and with the utmost respect for your right to read into my words what you will, your interpretation of what I was hoping to do, which was to invite Dear Reader to see where ugly jealousy on an individual basis doesn’t not engender kindness or respect, is slightly off the mark. Again, that’s your sacred right. But not what I said, not what I wrote, nor was it in any way what I intended. I have no control over how others read my words and decide what I think and feel. They don’t live in my heart, nor do I live in theirs.
These are difficult times and emotions are very high. I am doing my level best not to react out of those emotions, and keep my heart in a safe place. For those women of color whom I love with all my heart, I wrote this:
We are none of us privy to the heart of another. You may hear defensiveness in my words, Cheryl, but only if you read that story in the light of the larger issues. Perfectly understandable. And not what the article was addressing.
I wish you a wonderful weekend, and again, every respect.