Rioting and Privilege.

Tonight I want to offer a prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

You can’t change the world tonight, as one of my favorite kids show hosts always says, but you can make a dent.

Our cities are not just troubled tonight. They’re troubled every night. The difference is that now they’re troubled in ways we can see on the news.

This is something directed at my fellow white people: do you know how off putting it is when someone makes a blanket statement about white people? Every once and a while, someone in the media or on the street will say or imply something disparaging about your race or culture that you feel really is unfair, and doesn’t apply to you.

Well, now imagine that instead of an occasional incident, this sort of thing is omnipresent. That you can’t turn on TV news without seeing some sort of negative stereotype about yourself being perpetuated.

Imagine that instead of just cruel words, you face the possibility of being stopped by the police just for walking the streets at night. Do you know how I know white privilege exists? I can walk home alone from the bar at midnight with a hoodie on and not worry about being accosted. For all his wealth, even Kanye West couldn’t do that.

So yes, the violence we see on the streets today is distressing. But instead of focusing your anger on that, think for a second about the people who have to live with that sort of violence every day. Acknowledge that it exists. And just maybe, when Uncle Norbert starts mouthing off about “those people” at the next family reunion, maybe it would be worth more for you to call him out on it instead of preserving the peace.

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