Today, I Recognized My White Privilege

I noticed my white privilege today. And I did it in a way I don’t think many people get the opportunity to think about. This is because there are a lot of people who aren’t in my situation.


I am a criminal. Not just any criminal, I am a registered felon. I had a drug problem, I got caught, I went to jail, and now I wear a scarlet letter. During my drug phase, my poor decisions didn’t just involve intoxication. I stole. I damaged property. I did whatever I could to get a rush no matter who it hurt. And that had a lot of cop involvement. To the point, I memorized shifts and shift changes and squad car numbers. To this day, some cops still know me by name. Nothing to be proud of, but at the time I was.


I also dreaded my hair. I have wanted dreadlocks since I was 15, but it was too ugly for my mom to accept. When I got to the age where I could do what I want, I just did it. And I finally felt like who I was supposed to be when I looked in the mirror.


I’ve had a difficult time landing jobs. I’m a felon. I have a petite theft misdemeanor as well. I got fired from every job I’ve held due to drugs or stealing. It doesn’t look good. And I’m past it all now, but on paper, I am still the monster I once was.


And I used to think I could relate to black people in America. I’m a woman, so I am a minority. I have a paranoia about men that I’m just sure everyone is a rapist until they prove otherwise. I am a criminal, so I worry about the police, and they treat me like garbage. One look at my name or just my sheet, and I turn into some street rat. It’s crazy to see the change in how I am treated when they get back from checking my I.D.  And I am discriminated against in the workplace because of my record and my hair.


I really thought that could be compared. I truly thought I knew an ounce of what they go through. You know what I don’t worry about?


I freak out when I see a cop, but it is never my life I worry about. Only my freedom. I worry if there’s an unsettled warrant I don’t know about or whatever they could use to send me back to jail, but I never fret over my life. I actually have said out loud, “ I hope he’s white,” when I saw someone pulled over at night. I can’t compare anything to that. And I get to see how they treat an average law-abiding citizen before they check my record. I get a glimpse into the humanity that was left in that officer. Some people don’t even get a glance.


(Not every cop is a bad cop. But in my personal opinion, a good cop is someone who treats you like a human being regardless of your record. And I unfortunately still do not see that. It’s easy to love cops when you have never gotten caught for a mistake you’ve made. But once you do, you get to see that there are a lot of power hungry children on the force. With that said, there are some of the most amazing people I know who are on S.W.A.T and P.D’s and I have nothing against the force as an entity. Only those who abuse their power.)


I get discriminated over my hair, my choice to make my hair this way. While people are discriminated against because of just their name on their resume. A name that was given to them that insinuates their race. I have been frustrated because someone has looked down on me from how I choose to look, and others are looked down on because of just what they looked like from birth. Which I can kind of compare to in a woman’s point of view, but it’s not the same.


I get discriminated because of my record. People of all colors and genders make mistakes. But when I walk in, they want to give me a chance. I’m 5”3, 95 pounds, white as snow and I look 19. I appear harmless because I depict the ideal fragile woman our society has drawn up. I see the look in their eyes, the want to hire me. I’ve even heard someone half plead on the phone to higher ups because they felt I would be such a good candidate. But in the end, the corporate rules deny me any chance. But I get that look of sorrow as I walk away. I had someone try for me. That right there is something that I take for granted too often.


I noticed my white privilege today. And it really put things in perspective. I thought that I knew, but I don’t. I never will. I’ve always just wanted to understand, but sometimes you can’t. And all I can do is just be here for my brothers and sisters of humanity, and work towards a future where there isn’t a difference that involves negativity, but positive cultural differences that make us fall in love with one another. This realization really helped me, and I hope that maybe I helped someone else as well.

2 thoughts on “Today, I Recognized My White Privilege

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  1. Thank you for sharing your story! The first step in getting to a place where everyone is treated equally is by educating those around us. It’s unbelievable how many people don’t think white privilege is real and this post does such a good job describing why it is real and that it’s a problem. Very well written as usual!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! It’s hard to think that you could have any upper hand when you’re going through your own thing, but we gotta recognize it when it’s there! I’m glad there’s people like you who are also passionate about this world getting along ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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