MKP Equitable Community Train Station

No. 2 • February 2018 • ManKind Project USA

Welcome to the train station! A starting place? A waypoint? Perhaps a new direction. 

The train station is a place to inform, question, challenge and begin to move. Each edition may have information, an interview or personal story, a challenge or exercise, and listings of MKP and local events that serve to develop and infuse intercultural awareness and skills in our community.

All aboard!!

Racism and White Privilege
- this month's challenge...
It's only in recent years that I've begun to understand how my whiteness has created unrecognized and unintended opportunities throughout my life. I'm just now grasping the magnitude of the obstacles, abuses, disrespect and pain that I've avoided due to being white in this country. And so, what do I do now with that nascent understanding?...
Try this on:   Perhaps the first step is allowing awareness... Which of these are true (or mostly true) for you?
• I've applied for a job, without worrying that my skin color would work against me.
• I've been able to rent or buy a home in an area I can afford and want to live.
• When I shop, I don't worry about being followed or harassed.
• When I speak up in a group, I'm not assumed to be speaking for all white people.
• When I've been pulled over by a police officer, I haven't worried for my safety.
• When I ask to speak to the "person in charge," I'm pretty sure I'll be facing a person of my race.
• If I'm having a challenging day, I don't wonder how much of my experience has racial overtones.
• My children have been given curricular materials that testify to the existence and value of their race.
• Looking at racism is a choice for me.

Adapted from Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh 
Book recommendation:  Dr. DeGruy's ground-breaking work explores how 400 year legacy of slavery, oppression, discrimination and racism has created generational impacts that drive beliefs, feelings and behaviors today. Written primarily for African Americans to lay a foundation for healing, it is also eye-opening for whites, providing a stark wake-up to the dark history that we have inherited and the impacts that manifest today.

Learn more at:

Dr. Joy DeGruy - Be the Healing
"When You're Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression"
- Source unknown
Here's an interesting story by Chris Boeskool in the HuffPost that relates a somewhat different dive into understanding this adage.