A long-time online friend of mine, William Harryman, posted a statement on his Facebook page today acknowledging his privileged status as a successful white male. He graciously granted Sac. Homeless blog the honor of posting his succinct benevolent statement:
I am white male privilege.
While talking with my friend Karin on Sunday, I realized that (aside from the uber-wealthy) I am one of the most-privileged people in America. I am white, male, tall, fit, and financially secure. I have never walked on the streets and been afraid, even in the "bad" parts of Seattle, Portland, Chicago, San Francisco, or Tucson.
I DO know what it's like to be homeless and hungry, but I also knew that if I was willing to stop drinking and drugging, I would be fine - and I was. I had choices. I had options. So many others do not.
I have no idea what it feels like to be racially profiled, be female, or be afraid for my safety. I don't know the hopelessness and despair of feeling there is no way out, no future, no possibility of a better life.
My heart hurts for all of those people in this country who do not have enough to eat, who do not feel safe in their neighborhoods, or even their homes. Who are not white, male, and privileged. Who fear the police because of their skin color, or fear their neighbors because of their beliefs, or fear their water because it is not clean.
I wish all of us with privilege could acknowledge it and, in whatever way possible, little or big, make life a little easier for those who do not share our privilege . . . yet.
-- William Harryman