As I now embark on my journey on understanding liberal values, I have decided to touch on a few issues that I have observed that liberals and progressives are really passionate about. I would include identity politics in general and “white privilege” specifically as a couple of examples.
My understanding of white privilege is that it has nothing to do with monetary value or class. True, every race, religion, and nationality has its own set of hardships in life. But if you look at it through statistics, white people have a higher financial status, especially in white communities. However, if you are a person of color (POC) that’s not the case. Try putting yourself in the shoes of a black person, or a Muslim Arab, Native American etc. going into a coffee shop, just because of their color skin, they are already being judged. We can go as back as the Trevon Martin story how racial profiling was a big factor for an innocent young POC was killed. There are so many videos, articles, statistics that I can bring up but that can go on for days.
When these incidents happen, the term “white privilege” is brought up. I have noticed when I brought it up, many white conservatives will say things like “I am poor, where is my privilege?” This term has nothing to do with monetary value; it’s a term that symbolizes the difference between white culture to the POC cultures especially how POC are perceived in white neighborhoods. This is a problem and the disconnect is that people on the right do not want to put themselves in the shoes of other nationalities. Many on the right will condemn all Muslims, or justify police brutality in some way shape or form and this problem continues. With no dialogue between our people as one nation, the solution that POC and Democrats come up with is Identity politics.
When I was conservative, I thought it was a bad way to vote because of what someone is, now I am seeing by voting for a person of color, it gives their people a voice to be heard. A platform in the Government that can ensure they have equal rights as everyone else. I used to think that all Americans were treated equally. In reality, they are not, and I now understand why they fight so hard for a minority to be elected. If the GOP does not like it, then they need to do a better job and go outside of their bubble and really interact with the rest of America, not just their base. Until that happens, I personally support identity politics, because it gives people a voice to be heard, and every American has the right to free speech.