The KBOO staff recently viewed and discussed two films that provide a primer on racism and white privilege: The Color of Fear One
. I first saw these a year or so ago, and they made a deep impact on my understanding of racism and privilege in contemporary America.
It’s tough stuff, and I have to admit that, as a white male, I had been offput in the past by the language that surrounds these issues in many progressive and academic circles. When I heard references to “the imperialist, racist, white-supremist patriarchy”—which apparently included me—it was, frankly, hard to join the conversation. I grew up with overt racism. Our Boy Scout leader announced that we had a new applicant for the troop, “Now boys, we don’t want any n-----s in our troop do we?”, and we replied dutifully, “No sir!” I grew up in South Georgia, and even in the late seventies, when I was a teenager, the company recreation center still had a black pool and a white pool. Once each year, on the Fourth of July, the blacks and whites would get together at the white pool for barbecue, swimming and games. When a black family would move into a white neighborhood, “for sale” signs would appear up and down the street, and white flight was mentally morphed into “the blacks are ‘taking over’ the neighborhood.