So, if what I am writing about here doesn’t connect with you, because you have never said or heard a racist joke, because you haven’t accepted a stereotype, because you haven’t dressed up or been at a party with racist costumes, or sat idly by, I guess I am not writing to you. But I have a hard time believing you haven’t participated or enabled racism, sexism, or homophobia.
Ignorance is not a defense. The ability to be ignorant, to be unaware of the history and consequences of racial bigotry, and misogyny, to simply do as one pleases, is a quintessential element of privilege. The ability to disparage, to demonize, to ridicule, and to engage in racially hurtful practices from the comfort of one’s segregated neighborhoods and racially homogeneous schools reflects both privilege and power. The ability to blame others for being oversensitive, for playing the race card, or for making much ado about nothing are privileges codified structurally and culturally."