Yet another horrific act of systemic racism in the US has left the world shaken. It is a timely reminder that racism is taught. It is not something we are born with.
Recent uproar over the tragic murder of George Floyd has brought to light the injustice against the Black Community, both in the US and in our own backyards.
As a mother, it can be very overwhelming deciding what information should be passed down to our children. No mother wants to set their child up for failure. No mother wants to raise their children to hate others.
White Privilege goes far beyond “hating” someone due to the color of their skin. White Privilege is apparent in so many things we do.
A very limited education
I can recall every last piece of information students were taught in school about the history and genocide of the Indigenous Australians. In grade 3, we watched Rabbit-Proof Fence as a class. In year 12, we made damper on a school camp, and that was about it.
That’s where our education ended. Seldom are children informed of the injustices, senseless murders and the horror story that is life for many.
A generation of the blissfully ignorant
The cliche lessons get lost of deaf ears and sometimes the words become simply that – just words.
Lessons from parents are as old as time, telling us not to hate anyone due to the color of their skin. Telling us to respect others, regardless of their background. Sadly, this is the most information that many children are given.
That in itself is an example of White Privilege.
The fact that so many of us have grown up blissfully unaware of the generational trauma right under our noses. It didn’t affect us directly, therefore we weren’t informed about it.
As a result, a movement challenging “Black Lives Matter” has emerged. Those that are living in blissful ignorance and are unaware of their privilege have not noticed that any form of an “All Lives Matter” campaign is redundant.
“Black Lives Matter” is a a reminder that all lives matter, in the same way that feminism is a movement seeking gender equality – not an anti-male movement.
Being the change
So, how can we do better?
How can we make sure that our children are given the right information in order to grow up knowing their privilege?
How can we make sure our kids grow up knowing when to use their own privilege to be a voice for those less fortunate?
Thankfully for us, we are living in a technologically advanced world, where so much reliable information is right at our fingertips.
We have the ability to educate ourselves. To pass that knowledge on. To speak up for those whose voices are oppressed, and set that example for our little ones.
We need to be willing to have these conversations with our children. It is imperative that we sit down with our children and explain what is happening in the world. We need to teach them why it is never okay to treat someone differently because of the colour of their skin.
We are the example that they will follow. So, check your privilege and make sure you’re the example you’d be proud for your children to follow.