When I was asked to write a commentary on White Privilege I thought what could I put into words that explains this disease of unaware racism.
White privilege and unaware racism go hand in hand. When I first heard the term white privilege I didn't even know that I was included in this dominant group. I became a receptor of white privilege as a second generation Italian-American. At one time an immigrant from Italy coming to American held the same status as a person of color. I believe that when the dominant group, European-Americans, decided they needed to increase their numbers in the United States to grow proportionately faster than other ethnic groups, the Italian-Americans were then assimilated into the dominant European- American group.
I say this with no pleasure because white privilege keeps me a prisoner. I am inside the walls of my prison pushing the door outward. People of color are pushing the same door inward trying to enter. I believe that each and every one of us has privilege to this door. The combined forces of whites and people of color will someday tear the old door down and replace it with a revolving door.
You know I can't give my white privilege back. I can't return it. I can't get a refund and I can't lay it down. I have to learn to live with it. What I can do is educate myself about the disease of racism, educate others, and become an ally to people of color. It's up to me to break the walls of separation.
Critique of the Movie Hawaii by Madeline Volek
Here are my thoughts on the movie Hawaii which is still being shown on television:
What a white European Christian did:
He changed their religion.
He changed their way of choosing partners or their marriage mates.
He taught them English thereby dismantling the Hawaiian language.
He changed the way they dressed-from sarong to the mumu covering them from the neck to the toes.
He changed what they could drink (alcoholic beverages).
He changed their social life.
He treated them like children or heathens causing them to feel powerless.
He changed their customs and rituals.
He changed their Higher Power.
He changed the commercial bartering system the Hawaiians had with trade ships.
He changed their house of worship.
He took away their self-government.
He changed their sense of self.
This is how misinformation, stereotypes and unaware racism are perpetuated.
I didn't hear one positive statement about the Hawaiian natives throughout the movie.
If my seven year old granddaughter watched this movie how much of the disease of racism would creep into her little self?