Like Desmond Tutu said: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
Yesterday, my white husband and our two white friends were accidentally trespassing on a nearby stream-front property.
We'd been under the (wrong) impression that Department of Conservation law in our area of New York State says that as long as you're in the water or less than 10 feet up the shore, you're welcome to enjoy the creeks. It turns out, that's only the case if everyone in your party is fishing and you're generally on the move.
Hanging out in the water, we were approached by a very aggressive property manager, verbally insulted by him, and told he was "calling the law" on us immediately, which he did. It was unpleasant and surprising. Especially when the Sheriff showed up, flak vest and all, and we were in the wrong. I worried about accidentally offending a neighbor, about creating some fodder for the local rumor mill. (Oooh, did you hear about those Spruceton Inn kids?) But you know what I never worried about?
LOSING MY LIFE IN THE HANDS OF THE LAW.
And you know why? BECAUSE I'M WHITE.
And you know what happened at the end of all this? I told the Sheriff, "We're sorry to have wasted your time here." He said "Thank you," and we all walked away. Alive.
That's not happening to black people in our country right now.
If I were black, the moment that property manager told me he was "calling the law" on us I almost certainly would have ran. Literally ran for my life.
And that's fucking tragic.
So there's my white privilege. And here's my teeny, tiny addition to the voices who are screaming #BlackLivesMatter.