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Dena Miller, From One White Woman to Another, Let Me Help You Understand Why The Squad: Congresswomen Pressley, Ohar, Ocasio-Cortez, and Tilab Are NOT Racist

How White Individuals Have an Opportunity to Change America’s Narrative

By Dr. Megan BabbPublished 5 years ago 3 min read
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I am a white woman. I grew up in a very well-to-do community wanting for nothing. My parents are very well educated. They also grew up in well-to-do communities. Neither they, myself, my siblings, nor my other relatives grew up in poverty or a culturally diverse region. I had every privilege one could hope for, which was a complete disadvantage in one single way: I grew up in a colorless world.

I was naive. I was unknowingly ignorant. But, I was also eager to learn, listen, understand, see, and hear all about the worlds in which others lived. And from this—I learned how much tolerance I had for behaviors which should never be tolerated. I was not given a choice on the color of my skin or the ethnic diversity of my DNA, but I am given a choice to acknowledge that my birthright as a white human is very different than the birthright for many.

Being white does NOT give us a pass to ignore the injustices OUR race has imposed on so many minority groups in this country. When you choose NOT to learn their history, naively or not, you are choosing intolerance; you are choosing injustice; you are choosing ignorance. All of which means you are choosing racism. I decided as a caucasian woman to listen with intent, to understand with passion, and to learn explicitly the challenges minority groups face on a daily basis. You must know that it is only through their narratives, let me repeat this: only through THEIR narratives, not our own, in which these prejudices in ourselves can be identified and then resolved. As Caucasian, being part of the dominant group, this will impart a privilege to you. You may choose to turn a blind eye to this simple fact, but that will never change its truth. Born white in America equals privilege. Need I repeat this?

At first, I felt guilty about having such a privilege. But, then I discovered Bryan Stevenson’s JustMercy. This beautifully written and crafted novel highlighted the opportunity I was failing to see: I could use this privilege to help those oppressed, but it meant I must stop talking and instead listen. I implore you to STOP talking. Stop talking to yourself; stop talking to your white friends; stop talking to your white republican colleagues; stop talking to news journalists on CNN. Instead, I implore you to START listening. Listen to the single mother of color who has to worry about her son being judged by that. Listen to the Muslim man who fears being called a terrorist, because of the clothing he wears. Listen to the Latina woman who gets told to go back to her native home, because she chooses to speak Spanish over English.

You see Dena, in all this discussion, what I would hope you come to see: Your privilege by birthright gives you a fantastic opportunity to help elevate those mistreated. However it appears you are using that privilege to amplify ignorance, racism, and bigotry. What a beautiful gift you are wasting.

So, to answer your question: Why aren’t [The Squad] racist? Because racism is defined by prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s race is superior. Alas, their birth into minority groups inherently makes it impossible for them to be racists. So I ask you this from one woman to another, from one American to another, from one Caucasian to another, who is the racist?

Please, only through self-reflection and a desire to learn will we be able to create a new narrative for ALL Citizens of the United States. The victims should never have to fight alone for the justice they deserve. As a white woman you can choose better. You can choose justice, you can choose change.


About the Creator

Dr. Megan Babb

I am a mother to four, a wife to one, and a physician to many. I like to reach others through words of advocation to give a voice to those in need. Welcome to my village where all are welcome.

Twitter: @meganbabb1522

Instagram: mbabb1522

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    Dr. Megan BabbWritten by Dr. Megan Babb

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