The Family Ties Podcast - True Crime Podcast Series

White Privilege - Law Enforcement, Power Structures, & Race

July 22, 2020 Kelley Richey, Julia Avery Season 1 Episode 9
The Family Ties Podcast - True Crime Podcast Series
White Privilege - Law Enforcement, Power Structures, & Race
Show Notes Transcript

This week, Julia and Kelley discuss current issues involving white privilege, law enforcement and systemic white power structures. George Floyd's recent death among many other non-white American's at the hands of Law Enforcement have direct correlations with how the white majority has manipulated and rigged the system to benefit whiteness. Julia and Kelley dig deep and face-up to many of the unearned privileges this system has provided them without their explicit knowledge. 

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Julia Avery :

The Family Ties podcast is a fresh and new series created and curated by two sisters, myself, Julie Avery and my sister Kelly Richie. on opposite sides of the United States. We want to share our journey of staying connected through the weekly discussion of topics that both affect and inspire us.

Kelley Richey :

These topics range from arts and entertainment, inspirational women, and role models science, global issues, psychology, life experiences, pet peeves, etc. Distance may keep us apart, but the family ties creates the perfect backdrop to remain connected, challenged and always learning.

Julia Avery :

Hi, welcome to another episode of the family ties podcast. My name is Julia Avery and this is my co host and sister

Kelley Richey :

Kelly. How's it going, everybody?

Julia Avery :

Yay. So today we're going to be breaking down some of the elements of racism and everything that's kind of been driving recent events, what's been going on is too important to ignore and not take some time to discuss. So we'll be doing a couple episodes to fully discuss recent events, but we'll be breaking it into segments. So today we'll be focusing on white privilege and what that means

Kelley Richey :

the world has been falling apart, you know, gradually this year, but it just kind of sped up a bit and things have been kind of going off the rails and we feel like there's so much misinformation out there and a lot of Julia made a correction it's not ignorance. It's it's pretty much choosing to

Julia Avery :

Yeah, I've been using the word ignorant incorrectly for a very long time and it's almost been like my my kind of Way of dismissing people's hate and their bias and their racism. And I looked up the actual definition of ignorance and it's lacking information knowledge and none of us are lacking any of that we have plenty of information to go off of. So it's not ignorance we are choosing, we are choosing to either stay in our ways or choosing to educate ourselves further and be more aware and change change things. So it's, we can't use the word ignorant anymore. It's, it's not correct.

Kelley Richey :

And give me over the course of this conversation to find a better word. I'm sure it'll be pretty stinging. But I think one thing that we want to discuss today before we get into actually all of the protests and how we feel about it is to first and foremost, this is a great way to educate not only our listeners, but ourselves a little bit further on the meaning of white privilege, and up until till this point, I've kind of had like a little inkling of an idea. But until I did some research, I just didn't really realize how implicit I was in keeping all of these stereotypes and these systems in place and not questioning them. So today we are kind of doing some self exploration, seeing where we fit into this problem and how we can educate ourselves further. So we are not ignorant and not blissfully ignorant because sometimes we like to be this way, like why does this happen? I think we know we just need to kind of dig a little deeper, do some research and figure out how we can take responsibility to be a positive part of this change.

Julia Avery :

Yeah, and by acknowledging and being honest with yourself about your privilege doesn't mean that you're a bad person for being privileged. What when it becomes wrong is when we choose to not acknowledge it and not implement positive changes, you know, so what we do with this Information is what is going to define us. Not the fact that we come from a privileged place so we can be ashamed of the fact like, personally, I feel ashamed that I haven't been this actively vocal sooner. I am ashamed of that. Does that make me a terrible person? No.

Kelley Richey :

But have we called our friends and family out for their inherent bigotry? Yes, we have Has it always been pleasant? And is it easy now? Have

Julia Avery :

we done enough? Have we really done enough? And the answer's no. So we can't let the past be? What defines this, this is a moment where we can change things we can turn things around. There are ways we can get involved. There are ways that we can begin to rectify this.

Kelley Richey :

So great place to start is let's learn what privilege means what the privileges and benefits of being white are in the United States of America, I found two articles that I'm going to quote from From like heavily instead of just using my own words and what's on my mind, this is what I found that really helped solidify my positions and what my role is in this. So I found on showing up for justice for racial justice.org. They have a article in there called white privilege and benefits. They designate privileges as meaning privileges are the economic extras that those of us who are middle class and wealthy gain at the expense of poor and working class people of all races, that includes those of us who are lower class like myself more of the working class. So it's not just saying that our lives as white people aren't difficult. It's saying that for those of us in this nation who are wealthy and middle class, it's easy to ignore your privilege because it's uncomfortable to and then benefits on the other hand, are the advantages that all white people gain at the expense of people of color, regardless of economic position. So one of the instances of our white privilege is We can generally count on police protection rather than harassment. Depending on our financial situation we can choose where we want to live and choose safer neighborhoods with better schools, we are given more attention, respect and status and conversations that people then people of color nothing that we do as qualified, limited, discredited or claimed simply because of our racial background. We don't have to represent our race and nothing we do is judged as a credit to our race or as confirmation of its shortcomings or inferiority. I find that really important to kind of dig into a little bit more because you know, when when there's someone of color who does something exceptional, oftentimes I hear what a credit they are to their race, and I find that very off putting and and this is why so then it also says we will have more money spent on our education. We will be called on more in school and give them more opportunities and resources to learn. We will see people like us in textbooks if we get into trouble. Adults will expect us to be able to change and improve And therefore will discipline or penalize us less harshly than children of color. These benefits accrue and work to the direct economic advantage of every white person in the United States, including you, including me. First of all, we will earn more in our lifetime than a person of color of similar qualifications, we will be paid $1 for every 60 cents that a person of color makes we will advance faster and more reliably, on average accumulate many times as much Well, a white family will on average accumulate $116,800 in assets a black family only 1700 Latina family slightly more the gap for single women headed households is even more stark in 2007 a white female headed household had on average $41,000 in assets, a black female headed households $100 and a Latina headed household 120. These are historically derived economic benefits. This article says all land in the US was taken from Native Americans. Much of the infrastructure in this country was built by slave labor incredibly Paid labor or prison labor reform performed by men and women of color. Much of the house cleaning childcare, cooking and maintenance of our society has been done by low wage earning women of color today men and women and children of color still do the hardest, lowest paid and most dangerous work throughout the US and white people enjoy a plentiful and inexpensive food, clothing and consumer goods because of that exploitation. It is not that white Americans have not worked hard and built much we have but we did not just start out from scratch much of the rhetoric against more active policies for racial justice stem from the misconception that all people are given equal opportunities and start from a level playing field we often don't even see the benefits we've received from racism we claimed that they are not there this in particular Giulia really hit home to me because all our lives were taught that we all in America all start out with the same like a level playing field. You know, with capitalism, it's supposed to be this fix all and that you know, we all if you work hard enough can achieve something but that means you can If you're white, yeah, because as a person of color, you're dealing with all these other systems in place, that you have extra hoops to jump through.

Julia Avery :

And yeah, so I saw this, this video recently it was it kind of simplifies everything you just said, I don't know if it was like a church group, youth group or something. But they were youth in this like field and this leader, this man who was had everybody line up, and he was like, so we're gonna have a race. But before we do, we're going to you know, I'm going to show you an example of systematic racism basically, by where your starting point is, is like your starting point is going to be based off of, you know your answer to these questions. And so he started asking questions, and if, yes, it applied to them, then they got to take two steps forward, and it would be stuff like are both of your parents still married and at home, you know, or have you ever had to look different, different questions. That most white people would definitely apply to, in regards to their security. Someone that would have money to help them with something or whatever. And it ended up where there was a stark difference of where the whites in the black kids ended up with a starting point. The black kids were still in the back. And he was like, this is a pure example. He was like, none of the answers to these questions means that you earned your place your starting point, none of you earned that. He was like, this is an example of how the systems are broken, and they set you up to have a better chances at succeeding in the same race as the other people. But you've been put in this position where you're way farther ahead, but you know, nothing, nothing applied to you in a way that you earned

Kelley Richey :

that spot. I agree. I think that's like a great way to simplify. But then again, it's like you're simplifying these things to kind have showed this example to younger people, but then you know, it is such a convoluted discussion, you have to break it down even further. So all of those need. Yeah, so that's the starting point is awareness that these things exist. But what we should be asking is further questions on why and where and how

Julia Avery :

we need to be asking better questions. Alright, so

Kelley Richey :

let's get into that. Let's break this down a little bit further. I have a ton of notes. I don't know if I'll get through them all. But there was so much good stuff that I found. I found this article by Francis E. Kendall PhD, she wrote this scholarly article, and it's called understanding white privilege. And I found it just on a regular search for kind of defining white privilege. So it's pretty easy to find, but it says, we need to be clear that there is no such thing as giving up one's privilege to be outside the system. So that means Julia that regardless of how much we try, we are always in this system. The only question is whether one is part of the system in a way that challenges or strengthens the status quo. That's the position that we are in now guys, privilege is not something that I take and which therefore have the option of not taking Francis says it is something that society gives me. And unless I change the institutions which give it to me, then they will continue to give it and I will continue to have it however noble and equalitarian my intentions Actually, that's a quote by Harry broad, who wrote work clothes and leisure suits the class spaces and bias of the men's movement. So she quoted from him to kind of kick off her article. And I think that that's a very powerful quote. So regardless of our desire to be on the right side of history, you know, we inherently benefit I inherently benefit from these privileges, and I want to make sure that I don't take it for granted and I don't walk around with blinders on. Yeah, so privilege, particularly white or male privilege is hard to see for those of us who were born with access to power and resources, it is very visible for those to whom privilege was not granted. Furthermore, the subject is extremely difficult to talk about because many white people don't feel powerful. Whereas if they have privilege others do not. It is sort of like asking fish to note or notice water or birds to discuss air. So I think this is important because like you know, in in areas of deep poverty, even neighborhoods that have white people in positions of poverty, they don't understand that they still have benefits and privileges that are excluded and not given to their their counterparts who are black or Hispanic or Asian. So it is inherently something that we were born and raised with we see is kind of invisible, especially if we're poor we see ourselves as having nothing but just imagine you know, being having nothing and being a person of color. You still have me even as poor as I am. I have so many more privileges that someone of similar income as me but a person of color doesn't have Yeah, so here's the funny thing. Peggy McIntosh. Someone she quotes in here reminds us that those of us who are white usually believe that privileges are conditions of daily experience that are universally available to everybody. So most of us are clear, however, that people whose skin is not white are members of a race. So even so the surprising thing for us is that even though we don't see ourselves as part of a radical group, people of color generally do see us in that way. So white privilege is an institutional rather than personal set of benefits granted to those of us who by race resemble the people who dominate the powerful positions in our institutions. One of the primary privileges is that of having greater access to power and resources than people of color do, in other words, purely on the basis of our skin color doors open to us that are not open to other people. So yes, it's built into our system. Yeah, to a degree that we've seen it isn't visible

Julia Avery :

Exactly. And it kind of ties into a couple things that I found as well. So here's what here's a really great quote found from someone spy. sociologist Joe Fagan says many white people rebut the notion that white privilege augments their lives. That's because they consume the world a specific manner through what sociologist Jeff Egan calls the white racial frame think of a frame as the process by which people take in new information sift through the data source the important from unimportant and decide how to feel about it all vegan argues that American culture is taught whites to believe they represent the intellectual and cultural Vanguard to conclude that racial inequalities cannot be traced to their past or present behavior and to view their dominant status their privilege as natural and yet invisible, natural, yet invisible. That's kind of how we've all been raised to view it. We are conditioned and it's all based on the way in which you consume

Kelley Richey :

and you know, your parents whether they're racist or not, you know, haven't necessarily explained it to their children like you're extremely lucky lucky. You don't have to worry about you know, schools and your your chances. The odds are always in your favor.

Julia Avery :

Yeah, and thing I read kind of broke down different elements of white privilege and it kind of broke it down into three areas white privilege is the power of normal as the power of the benefit of the doubt and as power of accumulated power. And so with normal some of the often used Examples include the first aid kit having flesh colored band aids that only match the skin tone of white people, the products white people need for their hair being in the aisle labeled haircare rather than a smaller separate section of ethnic hair products, the grocery store stocking a variety of food options that reflect the cultural traditions of most white people. So it's like it's just commercialization basically stuff that is subtle, you know, but it's their power of the benefit of the doubt and some of the scenarios around that are the white people are less likely to be followed, interrogated or searched by law enforcement because they look suspicious or why people's skin tone will not be a reason that people hesitate to trust their credit or financial financial responsibility if I people are asking used to crime, they're less likely to be presumed guilty, less likely to be sentenced to death and more likely to be betrayed and a fair nuanced manner by media

Kelley Richey :

outlets. And the personal faults or missteps of white people will likely not be used to later deny opportunities or compassionate people who share their racial identity. And then finally, examples for power of accumulated power kind of fall into the gap of weather like there's family, inheritance, family wealth that gets passed along. Can I interrupt you for a quick second? Going back to your point of how we are treated in relation to the law, just think about how like every time I see something, it doesn't matter what News Network it is, I see someone cover and say, Oh, this white person, you know, they are diamond saying like this white person was killed. This was a homicide. So and so you know, is the murderer at no point do they discuss and try and say, Well, this white person must have deserved it because they have like a criminal record consisting of reckless endangerment or something like that. They don't That's not disgust but if a black person dies at the hands of a cop or a white person, they're always like, well, this person was obviously a criminal like look at their past they they've they've been arrested for Trump this

Julia Avery :

if sealer trying to justify George Floyd to death right now by saying don't make him out to be a hero because he had some sort of past and it's like, first of all, nobody's making him a hero work. We're just outraged by the fact he was murdered in cold blood. Right, continue. I

Kelley Richey :

just wanted to point that out because it's something I see constantly.

Julia Avery :

Yeah, I am. So I mean, you already kind of hit on the accumulation of power and financials like before. So since you've brought up law enforcement and that kind of thing, I've got some information on incarceration, racial disparities and incarceration. So in 2014, African Americans can constitute a 2.3 million or 34% of the total 6.8 million credit correctional population, African Americans are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of whites. The imprisonment rate for African American women is twice that of white women nationwide, African American children represent 32% of children who were arrested 42% of children who are detained and 52% of children whose cases are judicially waived to criminal

Kelley Richey :

court. If African Americans and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rate as whites, prison and jail populations would declined by almost 40% 40%. Guys, and in another conversation, we are going to talk about our prison industrial complex and our prison system that lines the pockets of rich individuals while making life more untenable for those who live inside. That's a discussion for another time, but I find that you know, just think about how we are the number one incarcerated in the world or even above China where either first or second, it's between US and China of the amount of people that we In prison, and it being predominantly African American is something we should really kind of think about. But as far as our racial profiling goes, but um, let's go to the money issue for a quick second because I find this interesting. I've always struggled with getting my personal credit better, like my credit report. To improve it, I went through a rough patch, and it doesn't mean I'm a bad person, I've paid off that debt, but I'm still kind of working backwards trying to get my credit score back up. So for example, given this article says that, given the exact financial history, white people in the United States are two to 10 times that's a really wide gap to two to 10 times more likely to get a housing loan than people of color. And so that means our access to resources, better neighborhoods and better schools kind of starts there, privileges are bestowed on us by the institutions with which we interact solely because of our race, not because we are deserving as individuals. So while each of us is always a member of a race or races we are sometimes granted opportunities because we as individuals, deserve them. Often we are granted them because we as individuals belong to one or more of the favored groups in our society. So it's about being a part of this favored group that kind of gets easy breaks. And we just ignore that. So I call that unearned benefits. And we received those because of the color of our skin. So most of us go through our days, like completely unaware that we are white or that it matters. And she also says Francis says, on the other hand, the creation of a system in which race plays a central part one that codifies the superiority, but basically, it's not accidental or haphazard. So Julia, you make some points, but I want us to really dive into why and how this system was formed.

Julia Avery :

So I found some good notes on ways to define the different elements. So whether it's racism or white privilege, because you know, we throw these terms around a lot and I think before we begin, just kind of go over some of these different definitions. I found some by sociologists Matthew Claire and Jeffrey s. Dennis. So they breakdown. They've got racism, systematic racism, bias and then white privilege. They've got some points on those racism is described as individual and group level processes and structures that are implicated in the reproduction of inequality. Systematic racism happens when those structures or processes are carried out by groups with power such as government businesses or schools bias racism differs from bias which is a conscious or unconscious prejudice against an individual or group based on their identity. And then white privilege two points under that the word white creates discomfort among those who are not used to being defined or described by their race. We like to talk about black people, but do we ever go Hey, those white people and then the word privilege, especially for poor and rural white people sounds like a word that doesn't belong to them like a word that suggests they have never struggled, therefore leading into a defensive approach for most people.

Kelley Richey :

I think before I go into our illustrious history as a country on this topic, Some of this will be familiar. But it's important to kind of lay this out to everyone to remind us where these systems came from, and how long they've been in place and how it is rigged the system to be beneficial to us. So like we say, on pretty much every episode until it directly affects us. We seem to not be bothered by it. So if it's benefiting us, everything seems fair. Right? It seems all awesome. But one thing I heard from an individual this past week that really had my blood boiling was and they took this as the most important takeaway from George Floyd's death was there is no way that we can 100% prove that this cop was racist. And I thought to myself, why is that even what you're thinking about right now? Why is that the sticking point for you? Because yes, there are good cops. There are bad cops, but black people are being killed by cops at such an astronomical rate comparatively to white people, yet Have some white people who get killed by cops but it is nowhere close. And the first statistic I find found is in relation to Minneapolis. So out of the population, the black people population in Minneapolis is 19%. And the percentage of black officers in Minneapolis is 9%. That's tiny. And then the subjects of police use of force against black people is 58%. But that's Minneapolis alone has excessive

Julia Avery :

That's a lot. They need a major training reform law enforcement period. You know, obviously that's another focus today, but that just matches pisses me off beyond I really want to know how where these people are coming from that are fighting against the idea that racism exists,

Unknown Speaker :

what the hell?

Julia Avery :

What world did you grow up in where that is something you are not only deny, but you're actively active. arguing and fighting against. And again, by actively fighting for someone else's rights doesn't mean that you are taking away your own. You know, I think some of them really liked the idea that they were further ahead. You know, I looked up kind of like examples between the protests that really highlighted white privilege as finest. You know, the different arguments that we have against things that we find as our issues and the differences are just are Stark. They're starkly different. So you've got white people who are pro protesting for reopening the states and businesses with COVID. Right and their arguments, they're demanding haircut don't cancel my golf season, right? And then you've got black lives matter where people are like, stop killing us. Am I next then you go back to I want to massage open the state versus my skin is not a weapon. Stop ruining my senior year open the damn salons, versus when will it end Let my people go versus it could have been my son like our our problems are so different and so minuscule in comparison. It's like to see the difference between our issues that we're protesting about, and especially with the ones on the reopening, they are armed to the teeth.

Kelley Richey :

So I'm not finding the exact numbers that I want. I can do that research. But I just found this staggering statistic that says for police accountability 99% of killings by police from 2013 to 2019 have not resulted in officers being charged with a crime.

Julia Avery :

Oh my god.

Kelley Richey :

And like out of this, there's only like a tiny little one that I think counts is less than 1% of officers convicted and then still maybe less than 1% of officers charged with anything at all, but back to my notes. That's stunning and scary. All right. I really want to talk next time about how we've gotten to this state where police are so hyped are empowered to kill others like it's almost something expected of them. Let's talk about historical systems that are in place that we benefit from on a daily basis. So history is filled with examples of the purposeful construction of a systemic structure that grants privileges to white people and withholds them from others the writing of the US Constitution which in 10 articles very intentionally confirmed the holding of black people as slaves as property. So we have a history right back to the beginning of us just being horrible white peoples believing that our destiny was to own the land on which we all currently live, even though that required forcibly removing the native people who had lived here for centuries are breaking apart of black families during slavery sent sending mothers one place fathers and other and babies and children yet another. We have systemically like broken up black families since the beginning. And yet now we want to, we're still doing that with our incarceration rates. So not much has changed. Things have historically changed but we are still breaking up. The family chooses to withhold from African Americans the ability to read so that they could not reproduce any of their culture or function well enough in our literate society to change their status, the removing of American Indian children from their homes, taking them as far as possible from anything they knew, and three punishing them if they tried to speak in their own languages, the passing of laws that were created to maintain the legal separation and inequality of whites and African Americans Plessy versus Ferguson, the making of politically expedient decisions by many, if not most white suffragists to align themselves with the white Southern men. So here, they're talking about when we as women were granted the right to vote, women were pushed white separatists to align themselves with the white Southern men reassuring them that by giving the vote to women, white women since at that time since about 90% of black women lived in the south and we're not by law able to hold property in this vote, the continuation of white supremacy was insured so they're like okay, women, you can vote as long as you vote to keep us in power and to suppress the black majority the manipulation of immigration laws so that people of color, particularly Chinese, and Mexicans, as well as European Jews, were less free to immigrate to the US than Western and Eastern Europeans, something that Trump really would like to return to seeing as he doesn't want people immigrating here from shithole countries, as he says. So so many of the things that he says and does in our administration says and does harkens back to these very things that kind of formulated our past that continues to suppress people of color, the removing of American citizens of Japanese interests, ancestry from their homes and taking their land and their businesses that was our own during World War Two I last year, went to the Colorado History Museum, and there was a very large internment camp that we had, I forgot in what what section of Colorado maybe Colorado Springs, I don't remember, but it was a big internment camp where we had people who had been in lived in America for a long time like they were born and raised here. But if they were of Chinese descent or Japanese, specifically Japanese ancestry, their homes were taken, they were put in these camps, much like concentration camps, their businesses were taken from them. And just to kind of walk around and see like the tents in the little huts that they kind of had to live in with other families. They didn't even have their own space. They couldn't even live on their own. It was like they were in our own internment. I like how they try and call it internment camps, but it's concentration camps. And we did that we did that.

Julia Avery :

It's kind of like using the word ignorant in appropriately by saying internment camp. It's like your way of kind of trying to soften the blow.

Kelley Richey :

Yeah, and then the using of affirmative action to promote to promote opportunities for white women, rather than for people of color. So you and me we we benefit from this, it is important to know and remember this side of American history, even though it makes us extremely uncomfortable. So for me the confusion and pain of this knowledge is somewhat easy. by reminding myself that this system is not based on each individual white person's intention to harm, but on our racial groups determination to preserve what we believe is rightly ours. So once again, since it benefits us, Francis is saying we don't fight against it, because it's continuing our comfort, we're still in a good place. And then rather than actively refusing to comply with the laws, individuals we usually go along, particularly if we think the law doesn't affect us personally, she just totally reiterated what I just said, what we can and must do is work daily to combat our privilege by bringing consciousness to others and our own the system in which we are living. So it's important to educate ourselves. It's important to kind of go back and take a little view of history and how it is still impacting people of color today, because we're like, oh, we, you know, civil rights, you know, did so much we're doing great. No,

Julia Avery :

I really didn't do much of anything. It was only like, I think I've said this before. It's it was Just like a facade, it was to make an A, we acted like that started some change, but we didn't have to change made work counted. And that's why it's still here today going strong people are dying, people are incarcerated, the civil rights movement, if you think about it, we made it out to be a joke. And the fact that the same people who have either chosen silence during this time, or who argue that racism doesn't exist, or rather than focus on the fact that people are getting murdered, and they just want to focus on their outrage of the looting. They're not saying that again, that that is correct. But people refuse to focus their attention on why it's happening. And they want to be more outraged over theft versus murder. Those are the same people that are like that will post those Martin Luther King quotes and they're like, Oh, what a day and you're like, next time. I just want to be like, shut the fuck up. You can't say that now.

Kelley Richey :

No, no, no. I just want to know why then why are we not this enraged or even enraged at all as white people when that whole town that whole black community in Tulsa was razed to the ground and then destroy all their businesses? So I just want to know, like, Where's our outrage placed? And why are we focusing on this when it's a small blip in everything else that's happening right now. So we need to focus on what's important, but I think Francis kind of piggybacks on that by saying like, far too many of us who are white erroneously believe that we do not have to take the issue of racism seriously, especially like if you were I feel like we are not racist. So that's an easy way to just kind of absolve yourself is just by being we've

Julia Avery :

kind of a responsibility on the black community to make those changes. Right. It's like we will judge their protests for like do where it counts as if it's their responsibility to change this.

Kelley Richey :

So fuck no equal on us. Our responsibility is to learn and and Figure out where all this is coming from. So like, while people of color understand the necessity of being able to read the white system, those of us who are white are able to live out our lives, knowing very little about the experiences of people of color. So understanding racism or whiteness is often an intellectual exercise for us, something we can work at for a period of time and then move on rather than it's being central to our survival. So just think about it that way. We don't have to understand the inner workings of the black community to succeed in our lives. They in reverse have to do that to even pass through the system. Further, we have the luxury of not having to have the tools to deal with racial situations without looking incompetent. We don't even have to try. There are many embedded privileges here. So we're able to live in the absence of historical context. It's It's as if we are not forgetting our history, but acting as if it never happened. And I know lots of people who want to be like, Huh, wow, that was so long ago. That wasn't even me.

Julia Avery :

It was so frickin recent.

Kelley Richey :

It is so or if it did happen. It has nothing to do with us today. So for most of us who are white, our picture of the United States, both past and present, is sanitized to leave out or downplay any atrocities we might have committed. So our Disneyland version of history is that our white ancestors came here had a hard time traveling West finally conquered those terrible savages and settled our country just as we were supposed to do Manifest Destiny. Like Think about it. We this whole country is founded on not just the mass murder of a whole people who were here first, we are all on stolen land to begin with, but then we continue to bloody our hands and our whole history with the continuation of slavery, which by the way, the states were the last major country to be clinging to slavery, so we can be proud of that too. So like we're taught that we are the only ones in the picture. So if there were others, they obviously weren't worth mentioning an example of this as the white crosses at the Little Bighorn battlefield indicating where white man died. men died as if no indigenous people had been killed there. That's, that's terrible. That'd be like us going to a concentration camp like Auschwitz and just seeing like spots where German soldiers got sick or died. Fuck, you're right. You're right. That's, that's the equivalent. That's disgusting. So we're able to grow up without our racial supremacy being questioned, it is so taken for granted even by me such a foundation of all that we know that we're able to be unconscious of it even though it permeates every aspect of our lives. So Charles W. Mills describes this phenomenon in a book called the racial contract. He says white misunderstanding, misrepresentation, evasion and self deception on matters related to race are physically required for conquest colonization and enslave and this phenomena are in no way accidental but prescribed by the terms of the racial contract which requires a certain schedule of structures blindness and opacities. In order to establish and maintain The white policy. So from the beginning, we've been taught to ignore and suppress any feelings of guilt or responsibility. So they continue to say that we've only been taught fragments of our history. And that's so true. We're told that George Washington couldn't tell a lie. But we aren't told that he owned African people who were enslaved or that he most likely has descendants by those slaves. We don't often have to wrestle with the fact that one of the biggest fights in framing the constitution was over maintaining slavery, we have the privilege of determining how and if historical characters and events will be remembered. So she also goes on to talk about from the Alamo to the Filipino American war to the Japanese internment to Vietnam to training the assassins at Fort Benning, Georgia, who killed nuns and priests in El Salvador we retain an extremely tight hold on what is and is not admitted and how information is presented. So we control the narrative is essentially what she's compounding here. So, everyone, because we all go to the same schools, if you will. everyone regardless of color is told the white story that's disgusting Japanese Americans are told that their families internment was purely a safety precaution. Just as white children are American Indian students see Walt Disney's Davy Crockett alongside their white schoolmates learning that the great their great grandmother's were squashed and our ancestors were savages. We all learn that top Tomahawk chop during baseball season, none of us sees a whole picture of our nation that includes the vast contributions of those who are not white, all of us are given a skewed picture of reality. That's what the guy Charles Mills kind of refers to as the racial contract. So it's not just that the stuff doesn't happen. We're kind of encouraged to forget it. We're admitted to colleges hired for jobs given or denied loans cared for, by medical professions. We walked down the street as white people always in the context of white dominance. In other words, part of the reason that doors open for us is our unearned racial privilege. But then again, we're taught that we act and you know, therefore believe that we've earned ever thing we get, but that's not true. Basically, we perceive that if a person of color doesn't get a job or alone, it's because he or she didn't earn it,

Julia Avery :

why people love to steal from the black culture and profit from it. So then we want to say that they don't deserve to be proud for their history. And then we're like, oh,

Kelley Richey :

why can't we be proud to be white? It's not about that. It's different. It's because we have, we have pushed a group of people down so low for so long and treated them as if because of the color of their skin. They had no reason or right to live or succeed that it is important to acknowledge their black pride. We inherently are proud of our whiteness, it shows and everything that happens to us. So we don't it doesn't need to be a movement for us. No one is

Julia Avery :

we already have holidays to celebrate it. Independence Day is a specific example. It's not white pride day, but the sense of independence day is basically you know, us being proud of ourselves, you could interpret that as, as white pride.

Kelley Richey :

Let's talk about affirmative action to another person I know talked about how offensive affirmative action was to them, because they felt like a person who is less qualified than them can still get the same job because of the color of their skin. Now, that system was put in place because businesses were refusing to hire people of color and minorities. And thus we had to kind of put something in place to try and level the playing field. Now, I do believe that we should have all the same opportunities. But guess what, that's not the world that we live in now. And just like Francis continues to say, we're able to delude ourselves into thinking that people of all colors come to the table having been dealt the same hand of cards, we act as if there are no remnants of slavery that affect American African Americans today, and that the Japanese didn't have to give up their land. their homes and businesses are that the Latinos weren't brought back into what had been their country to do stupid labor. So affirmative action is important. I don't think that someone who's black who doesn't have the qualifications should get the job, I think that it is in place so that they cannot be ignored if they are qualified for it. I do believe in equal opportunity. But guess what, we do not live in that world, it is still not there. So we have these knee jerk reactions by putting something like affirmative action into place because we've been Miss handling it for so long. We're trying to do not even due diligence. We're just trying to make it seem as if we're being fair to people with disabilities, people of color, you know, but in actuality that system is there, but largely ignored still to this day. So that is a non starter issue. For me. That is the least of our problems. Essentially, we are disconnecting ourselves from any reality of people of color that make us uncomfortable, because our privilege allows us to believe that people basically get what they deserve, or we feel helpless to do anything about another group's pain. This article is like 12 pages long, so worth the read. I just grabbed some bits that I thought were really vital. She says that we have kind of good people who because of race and class privilege are so removed, they don't have to see or experience others. We were talking about one of these people just yesterday, Julia. Mm hmm. So just because you're kind are good, you're so removed that you don't feel like you need to see or experience it. Because you're nice. You're not one of those without that personal experience they have no understanding of or motivation to address others lives. We cannot allow our fear of anger to deflect us, nor seduce us into settling for anything less than the hard work of excavating honesty says Audra Lord that was written in 1984. We cannot allow our fear of anger to deflect us

Julia Avery :

the fact that that's

Kelley Richey :

decades ago, we have to look at the uncomfortable truth. Even if we've never done anything bad to someone of color. That doesn't mean that we are not perfect. habituating this system in privilege, so we should question our resoluteness to identify class rather than race as a primary determinant of opportunity and experience. I hear that argument to people using like, well, it's a class issue. It's not a race issue. In short, white people can continue to use unearned privilege to remain ignorant or we can determined to put aside our capacities in order to see clearly and live differently. That's incredible.

Julia Avery :

We need to stop waiting for something to happen directly to us before we before we take action and step up and do what's right. You know, reaching out and making things right for another group of people does not mean your rights are diminished in any way. It just equalizes the playing field. And it's serving justice. And I think people are so afraid of losing their privileges. They I feel like some people feel threatened by it because they might feel as though They are going to lose something like the upper 1% who doesn't want their to pay taxes or have any taxes even raised. I mean, whatever taxes they do pay, which is minimal, they don't want to pay their fair share because they would have less money that they'll never be able to spend through in their lifetime. But greed, greed keeps us all silent, happy and fat. There's also a fear of losing friends. And, you know, the fear of upsetting by taking a certain stance that you're gonna lose people that you thought were friends, if I was gonna lose friends, this is what I want to lose them over for sure. No, I want to lose if I'm gonna lose friends. I want to lose them overtaking the right side of history standing up for what is right. And I think it's worth it. So

Kelley Richey :

all the things that I just quoted that Julia was so gracious to let me read to you guys.

Julia Avery :

I wanted to hear it and we all need to hear it.

Kelley Richey :

I think it's important for us to hear it from the mouths of those who have studied, researched and really done their due diligence. I don't need it to just be words out of my mouth. I want to find people who have such inherently decent things to say that they put it in such a beautiful way that there's no reason to me No way frame it, you know. So what I just talked about, like that would be my personal argument to everyone I know or have talked to who've completely ignored their own simplicity or their chosen blindness to being white and privileged. Basically, I believe we have just turned our backs on instead of facing our pasts and how that continues to provide us with our privilege. So even as Americans black and Latino individuals face this rigged system to which we continue to benefit from so we cannot ignore it or else we choose to be silent or neutral. So better put Harvey Cox says not to decide is to decide and that's how I feel about people who refuse to join In the conversation, even when they're being tagged on

Julia Avery :

to annex a dip their toes in the water, it's not to make a clear stance somewhere it counts. It's like thoughts and prayers kind of stuff, right? Like, oh, how awful and it's not like this is this is wrong, this is what we should do I stand for this is your ally. They're not saying things that that really put it where it counts, which is, you know, they're saying just enough to say that, you know, they acknowledge that it's there, but they're not going to say anything that's gonna make them lose anything or any friends over it.

Kelley Richey :

So this is mine and Julie is sloppy attempt to acknowledge our privileges that we and I thought about this a long time if I had grown up in the same kind of family situation, but as a black woman, just how much more of a fight I would have had to put up to even get to the point I'm at now. And I sincerely cannot wrap my brain around it.

Julia Avery :

Hi. I don't know where I would have ended up

Kelley Richey :

when I feel uncomfortable browsing and Ulta because I'm not a good browser. I feel like I look like I'm suspicious or like because I don't have like something specific in mind that my perusing my endless perusing could be stealing. I keep thinking to myself, you're white, you're fine. Nobody fucking cares. That's awful. I mean, I've had that thought so many times, like, I may feel uncomfortable, but no one's looking at me. Now, if I was a black female, not only would I be uncomfortable, but someone would be looking at me.

Julia Avery :

So who would probably be approaching you endlessly?

Kelley Richey :

Do you need help? Are you doing okay? Hmm. It's guys just take a few minutes and just think about all the things you may feel like you have worked your ass off to get where you are. And we all have done that. But it would have been so much harder for us if we weren't white and privileged.

Julia Avery :

So you're okay. So yeah, you've worked hard, and you've earned somewhat of what you've gotten. But remember the starting point in this race we call life there. drastically you're you started way more ahead. So yeah, you you ran that race you've gotten to where you are today. But remember, there are other people that were placed at a starting place far behind you.

Kelley Richey :

And on that note, we'll kinda start to wrap up for today. Unless Julia, you have more on the subject of white privilege. But we do want to continue with this because we're educating ourselves on what's happening around us and how we as privileged white women can use our voice in a way that isn't self aggrandizing and is useful and as impactful, we will hopefully be talking to some of our black friends about what they would like to see from us and how we can best put our privilege to use and not just in a way that we think is useful. You really need to dig a little deeper and have some meaningful conversations and see what we need to do what what we can do exactly so so crazy world Julia, I will be seeing you in a few weeks, which I really can't wait for So who knows guys maybe while chili is here we'll record together like in the same room. Don't be cool. share one microphone. Yeah won't be awkward at all.

Julia Avery :

It'll be good. I'm excited.

Kelley Richey :

Take care guys be good to one another and at least try and please don't put your head in the sand like an ostrich like so many people that we know I'm so embarrassed at my the circle of people that I have conversations with that let me down with their inability to care or even see lack of empathy. Julie is the only person I can talk to who even slightly or remotely seems to get it and I appreciate that Julie, I

Julia Avery :

hope I'm more than remotely

Kelley Richey :

get it to you more than remotely get it but like it's a lonely world for me. I don't know if you feel this way but it's a lonely world to be in where I know friends you have are even remotely on the same page as you and when you do open your mouth to say what you know is right all it's met with is blindness and apathy and just plain ignorance It is so frustrating

Julia Avery :

arguments weak as arguments

Kelley Richey :

but they're so set in it's concrete it's dry you can

Julia Avery :

argue about it be more intelligent about your arguments do better.

Kelley Richey :

Okay to know just starting next stop being Safina dick.

Julia Avery :

You know what, that's our new campaign stop being a dick. And man could be a hashtag we can have shirts we could have baseball caps with that. I'm excited. Let's do this.

Kelley Richey :

Yeah, oriented. Can we steal something from my favorite ladies over at the red handed podcast and they're off in their British way talking about getting the bin in the bin you get like the trash can such a nice time

Julia Avery :

they get in the bin

Kelley Richey :

That's so awesome. They're delightful. Please listen to them. Julie and

Julia Avery :

Kelly. I am so so on us getting a merge page put together with T shirts and shit.

Kelley Richey :

Yeah, me too.

Unknown Speaker :

Fantastic.

Kelley Richey :

Or I think the one thing that I repeatedly say is Oh Go fuck yourself.

Julia Avery :

We have endless inspiration.

Kelley Richey :

We are not abusing our audience. We're abusing the people who are like this just as a clarification if we if we do have any listeners ever. We hope that you're, you know, semi decent people who might be slightly aware of what's happening around you. We whoa teta. Anyways, we love you guys. We'll talk to you next week.

Julia Avery :

All right, yeah, you can visit us at our website www. The Family Ties podcast comm get all information needs. There are some blog

Unknown Speaker :

posts get bow to some homeschooling shit.

Julia Avery :

Look out for some merchandise.

Kelley Richey :

Yeah. All right. Well, yeah, don't be a dick. All right. Take care guys.

Unknown Speaker :

Bye