OK, community. As a straight, white, progressive, single man without kids, I recognize that I’m experiencing this in a different way than a lot of you. Given that, I’ve been mulling and processing and thinking about what my place is in the new chapter of American history that we entered last night. This is definitely still an evolving line of thought for me–please call me out when needed, offer suggestions if you have them, and if you ever just want to grab coffee/a drink and talk further, I’ll buy the first round.
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
First, I commit to doing the work that needs to be done with other white men, both in the Seattle community that I’ve made my adopted home and in the rural Texas community (and beyond) in which I grew up.
Second, for all the folks in my life and my community who aren’t straight white men–women, LGBTQ folks, immigrants, people of color, and anyone else who’s feeling the impacts of last night’s election in a much more personal and painful way than I am–I commit to providing support however I can be most useful. I have a lot of forms of privilege, all of which I’ve gotten from other people; to name but a few:
1.My father is Mexican, but because I’m very light-skinned and my parents raised me as a white man, my white identity was something I didn’t even have cause to think about until I realized that white privilege exists once I was already well into adulthood.
2. Thanks to Mike McGinn and all of the people that I connected with through my time on his campaign and working in his administration, I have the strongest, most robust social network that I could imagine.
3. And thanks to that social network, my career as a real estate agent has given me a level of financial independence that I never expected to be able to enjoy.
If my white privilege, my social network, or my financial privilege can be useful to you in the organizing work that you’re doing, please don’t hesitate to ask.
I love you all, and I hope that together we can create a world that respects us all and gives every one of us the ability to live our lives freely and without fear.