It’s funny, because when someone tells you they have been struggling with racism for a long time, you automatically assume that person is someone of color.
Having a white man struggle with racism is downright laughable and that laughable man fighting the tyranny of racism is Tim Wise. This brings into mind the “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” where King discusses his disgust with complacency. King makes it clear there will never be a right time to seek change, that it will always be an inconvenient time. Wise is an example of someone who is not complacent, where millions of Americans – including myself –
find it convenient to just say let’s just wait, things are getting better.
Either you are on the side of justice or not- no neutrality.
Whites fighting for blacks and men fighting for women, this is the only equation for success. Ridding our country of racism will not happen without ridding our country of discrimination in general, that includes discrimination of women. There is a point in everyone’s life where they just can’t take anymore, be that criticism, abuse, discrimination, or serving at the lower end of the pay scale. Everyone knows there is a problem, but no one wants to do anything about it, or if they do, they do not have the tools to go about it.
Wise is white, but he has gained credibility on something that some say he has no right speaking about. This idea of implicit bias is something that every single American citizen struggles with every single day, and it’s not our fault. We have been programmed like R2D2, except our programmer was racism, and unlike most robots we do not realize we are robots. We either choose to act on, but the more we educate people on these embedded flaws the better off we will be.
It’s no secret that the wealthy in our country abuse their powers, yet nothing happens. The majority of Americans agree that things need to change on a political level, yet nothing happens. I discussed lobbyists in an earlier blog and how important limiting their role within the political process would be. There are a lot of people who don’t know what a lobbyist is and or what they do. People complain that policies do not benefit them or anyone else. The sad thing is they are benefiting someone. The people who are benefiting are powerful corporations that had lobbyists inject a bunch of money into political campaigns. Not only do zoning laws separate the wealthy from the poor, so do the amount of opportunities afforded to whites, I mean the wealthy.
Wise brought to the surface the ugly history of white privilege and opportunity. He pointed out the systematic inequalities brought forth by the U.S government that limited the economic well-being of minorities over generations. Many minorities cannot earn a living wage in this country due to decades of limited opportunities still present today. This living wage means enough money to maintain a normal standard of living. As Wise pointed out, Walmart is the biggest redeemer of food stamps for their own employees. Think about that for a second. This means that the company is paying so many of their employees so little that the majority of them are still on government aide. Where are all of Walmart’s profits going, you ask? Six Walton (owners of walmart) heirs have the same collective wealth as 127 million Americans. The Walton family has more combined wealth than the combined wealth of 42 percent of American families. The Waltons have more wealth than almost half of our country. Guess who spends a lot of money swaying politicians?