Why I Reject the Label ‘White Privilege’
When a conservative or any brave independent-thinking soul disagrees with the president, you can start the countdown to when she will publicly be accused of hate, racism or its gentler, more euphemistic cousin – white privilege. Many do not even post public comments out of fear of reprisal from friends, family or employers.
Anything other than full acceptance of whatever the president says or does yields escalation reaching the heights of the hate-filled accusation within seconds.
Am I hate-filled without my knowing it? Apparently, at least that is what I’m being sold.
“You don’t even know you’re doing it!”
Friends, interventionists foremost, do their best to shield me from myself; for I am their tolerance test-patient and charity case. Perhaps they speak with pride at having me, their conservative, Republican friend to spar with.
You know they think it, Republican = Racist. You cannot fight consensus.
The supposed underlying supremacist privilege that I was born with evidently needs to be called out and exorcised. Only with acceptance and correction can I be redeemed.
I reject the premise.
I continue to disagree well, because I disagree.
I disagree with trust-but-don’t-verify U.S. aid. I disagree with “You’ve Got a Friend” foreign policy.
At times I do indeed hate. I hate people shooting up movie theatres, churches and unarmed military installations. I hate the prevalence of cops being killed. I hate my tax dollars being used to fund organizations that sell baby parts.
The thing is, I pursue cultural understanding and empathy in my line of work. As a hospital chaplain, I partake in interdisciplinary study to reflect on the shadow side of helping others; the baggage and biases I bring into to every patient encounter. But I actually work on it.
Yet that is never enough for the conservative. If you are white, you are privileged. If you are black, you are an Uncle Tom.
But I am a writer. I am a chaplain. I am a good neighbor. I am not a cog in some ideological plot responsible for that ails America.
I am not arguing what constitutes white privilege and what does not. I only reject the pinning of that label upon me for the purpose of delegitimizing my opinion and my personhood.
My dissent is not aggression manifested. My dissent is an exercise in freedom of speech in the public square – despite the fear society created by the shamers.
I define me. I reject the attempt to delegitimize my voice and isolate me from the conversation. Deinhammer out.