Redefining White Privilege – Part 2

For the first time since maybe World War 2, the country and much of the planet has had to work together. In coordinating efforts to combat the impacts of the Coronavirus, leaders in the field of virology emerged quickly to help guide our thoughts and actions. Governors and mayors took the advice of infectious disease experts and created policies and expectations for all of us to follow. On June 7th, it seems to be working. Businesses are starting to reopen and infection rates are in the manageable range. All of us that participated in helping to flatten the curve, can name several things we are supposed to do to help fight the virus.

  1. Stay indoors
  2. Social distance when outside
  3. Avoid large groups
  4. Wash your hands regularly
  5. Keep your hands away from your face and mouth

I just listed 5 in about 30 seconds.

In part 1, I laid out a problem solving arc. Here it is again:

  1. A problem is identified
  2. A critical mass of minds are made aware of a problem
  3. The desire for solutions is identified
  4. Methods for the logistical carrying out of those solutions are attempted
  5. A critical mass attempts those solutions
  6. Reflection on those solutions combined with new information produces iterations to the solution
  7. The process is repeated on a micro level while moving toward greater refinement
  8. Eventually, a new normal is created. With that new problems arise and the process repeats on a macro level

We are now in steps 6, 7, and 8. A critical mass of people have worked toward solving the problem of spreading Covid 19. The general level of fear and anxiety over the disease is dissipating and, in some ways, it feels like we are over the worst of it. We aren’t done having to iterate and solve problems, but the problems we will need to solve will likely not involve all of us collectively staying home. There may be new challenges with work and how we get schools up and running again, but those problems are a subset of the larger issue as a whole.

It seems like we are now at the beginning stages of step 4 if the problem we are trying to solve is racial reconciliation in America. It seems like a critical mass of people are now aware that racial disparity exists. It is a pervasive, large scale problem and even the casual observer (the average protestor) understands that something needs to be done. I believe we are starting step 4 because a desire to see change is out there, but we have very little action items commonly made available to us. Here is another way to think about it.

Could you name 5 things you should be doing to move toward a more racially reconciled America in 30 seconds?

The next 5 blog posts are going to frame out what those 5 things could look like. They are going to be looked at through the lens of my families experiences. Specifically, they are going to be geared toward a white middle to upper middle class person, like myself that is from or is currently living in a predominately white suburb. That is the pathway both my wife and I took to ending up living in the inner city. Both of us are from almost all white, reasonably affluent suburbs. There never was nor now there is anything special about us, we are just a little bit ahead of the understanding that our county is moving toward now.