Did anyone read the interview this morning at Argus Leader.com from the organizer of the Sioux Falls Black Lives Matter vigil? I can’t help but scratch my head at one of her statements:
Particularly, when you exist in a white body, you live in a system that has always told you that you are right. Being told you are wrong and feeling the guilt of that and not letting that guilt stop you from engaging in really important work is hard. It’s scary because we aren’t used to being wrong. It’s an important lesson to learn.
I guess I’m struck by how this woman lumps everyone into certain life experiences based on the color of their skin, aside from the choice of the phrase “exist in a white body.” And that somehow people of different racial backgrounds have different “systems.”
Martin Luther King marched, and died, in the 1960’s for a dream of an equal and color-blind nation. He spoke the words “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I really don’t see how claiming that people who “exist in a white body” have one system that’s somehow “wrong,” by some unspoken and arbitrary measure honors that dream and unifies us.
MLK spoke about America as a promise, and under it’s framework, all men are created equal, and deserve equal access and opportunity under the promise. The American Dream is our only system, and it has nothing to do with race, except to remind people that it isn’t, and shouldn’t be a factor.
That’s what “the system” I was brought up in taught me. And I don’t think there’s anything that I was taught that is remotely “wrong.”
What do you think?