I have read a lot in the news and on social media about privilege, why black lives matter, and police brutality lately. Yet there are still those people who deny that white privilege is a thing. I’ll give you an example of white privilege in its most innocent form. There’s a high school senior shadowing our graphic designer today, because she wants to study graphic design in college. Her mother is friends with the publisher’s wife. No doubt, whatever she learns here today will be invaluable, and when the time comes, she may even be able to do an internship here.
I think back to me at 17. I wanted to be a magazine editor, but I didn’t know anyone who worked at a magazine, other than Vanessa Williams on “Ugly Betty.” I did not meet a black woman who wrote in magazines about the arts until I was 21. Until then, I literally just had blind faith. But here this girl is at 17. This is great for her. She gets to shadow someone who looks like her doing what she wants to do.
For most people, seeing someone who looks like them do the thing they want to do is critical to not killing their dreams. But, when you’re black, it takes time to overcome decades of systematic oppression to even get into a position to know people who do the things you want to do. White privilege is not having to wait until we have overcome. White privilege is knowing someone in that position to even give you that opportunity.