White silence by Samuel Adams

“The cost of being uncomfortable (loss of privilege) is more important to them (Whites) than the benefits of doing what is right,” is a quote Samuel Adams includes in his essay.  “When Caucasians take stands against racism, they are rejecting their White privilege. White silence allows Caucasians to keep a seat at the table of White privilege while providing them with the peace of mind/plausible deniability of not being active participants in racial oppression.”

2 Comments on “White silence by Samuel Adams

  1. Powerful article that speaks equally to many implications for holding onto white privilege. White privilege is expressed in one of two ways: 1) the assumed benefits to white people remaining as they are, and 2) the oppression black people, and other people of color, experience from this system. Let’s stop and examine the burdens of white privilege and the cost of retaining a mindset that cuts white people off from the world and their hearts. Intersectionality recognizes that white people can also experience oppression through their other identities (white gay male, Jewish, Italian, Russian, and other immigrant nationalities, etc.). However, most of these sub-groups are not visibly identifiable, and are “protected” by a person’s whiteness. Using these identities to ignore the enormous advantage of being white indicates a person’s need to cling to reality blinders. White privilege burdens white people by requiring them to close their hearts and create feelings against other groups of human beings. Is it really worth losing your soul and living with a closed heart daily? Do you feel the weight of carrying that burden with you throughout your lives? Why would you risk your well-being and see white privilege as a benefit? The responsibility of racism is a heavy one, but it is a choice. Become accountable for your willingness to live with a closed heart and feel the pain. That is what you are feeling – sadness, self-abuse, and self-sabotage. Or see racism and white privilege for what it really is—mind and heart control that cuts you off from your very best self. Has any one white person considered the cost s/he pays for holding onto racist words, thoughts, feelings, and actions? When you accept and promote racial exploitation, you are personally lighting the cross on someone’s lawn.
    I am speaking to all those reporters, bloggers, Tweets, and Facebook people whose voices use oppression to hide. There is a difference between reporting the truth to the world, harming, and healing – Do You Know the Difference? Then please, learn the difference. Yes, it is work, very hard work, but aren’t you worth it?

  2. What an excellent goal: “to see racism and white privilege for what it really is—mind and heart control that cuts you off from your very best self.”

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