Owning Privilege: Resources for My Fellow White Mothers

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owning privilege

I am a white mother. That is my privilege. With this privilege, my two white sons can leave the house with little worries.

I am a teacher. This gives me positional power. My positional power, which I did nothing to earn, allows my voice to be heard and respected by virtue of “the system.”

As we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. My responsibility as a white woman is to continue to challenge systemic racism. (Systemic racism, if you are unsure of the definition I’m using is, “Collective racial prejudice backed by legal authority and institutional control” ~ Dr. Robin DiAngelo). My profession gives me a responsibility to teach the truth to my students, to enlighten them, and awaken their souls to injustice, inequality, and oppression. It is my job to empower the young souls to speak up against these things.

Saying things like, “I don’t see color,” “I’m colorblind,” and “I treat everyone the same” is actually counterproductive. Those who profess not to see race, risk ignoring discrimination, and then continuing the situation. Also, white people should not call themselves an ally to the cause. It is not self-defined. Work and efforts must be recognized by those you are seeking to ally with.

So what can you do? Explore your racial identity. (As white people, many of us rarely have to think about the color of our skin). Listen. Learn. And listen some more. Push yourself to learn even more than you thought there was to learn. I have been learning as a white woman for over 20 years, and there is still much I don’t know. I am no expert, but what I do know is where to turn for help. 

Here is a shortlist of resources and remember, “The system isn’t broken. It was built that way.” ~ Brene Brown

Anti-Racism Resources for White People 

Being an Anti-Racist

Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice

The Conscious Kid

Equal Justice Initiative

Ibram X. Kendi 

Talking About Race

Understanding Race and Privilege 

Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk about Racism: Resource Round-Up

What Can I Do? Empowering Allies in Tumultuous Times 

White Accomplices

White Fragility (Robin DiAngelo)

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

The 2020 Ultimate List of Diverse Children’s Books

Let us know if you have any additional resources to share. 

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I'm a full time mom/teacher/wife/daughter who feels pulled in too many directions! My son Michael took over 24 hours to be born, and at 6 months old he was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, eggs, soy, shrimp and wheat... all after my exclusively nursing because I was SO SURE that would help him be a healthy kid. The joke was clearly on me. Luckily at age 1, he outgrew his soy and wheat allergies. Fingers crossed the others will soon follow. In July of 2015 I gave birth to my second son, Christopher. Thankfully he doesn't seem to have an allergies and is pretty happy go lucky. I'm grateful between my husband who doesn't eat any veggies and me always battling my weight makes for 3 meals to prepare every night. No wonder I'm so dang tired! It's a good thing I love to cook and don't require more than 7 hours of sleep since I often get far fewer than that. I am addicted to Scandal and Nashville, but other than that, most nights I'm content to surf Pinterest and pin way too many crafty pins I will never do with my son. I hope readers can relate to me or at least have a chuckle at my expense.

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