How White Women Can Use Their Privilege to End Racism
What might happen if the Beckys, Karens, and Amys of this world actually used their racial privilege in the interests of social justice?
By now, many have internalized the horrific video that captures the scene of a White Minneapolis police officer crushing the life out of George Floyd. Nearly 10 minutes of footage reveals Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling forcefully against the neck of a shirtless, handcuffed Black man, with his face writhing against the pavement and the victim pleading for his life. “Please, I cannot breathe! Don’t kill me!” Floyd cries out to no avail.
A 46-year-old Houston native who had recently traveled to Minneapolis to work, George Floyd had every reason to live, including caring for his two daughters. Ignoring his humanity, however, Chauvin exerts greater pressure on Floyd’s neck, while the three officers accompanying him provide shield for the 19-year police veteran. “Mama! Mama!” Floyd cries out, seconds before he permanently loses consciousness. Even then, Chauvin refuses to release his grip, determined to showcase his total authority over a defenseless, dying man.
The video also displays the anguish of predominantly Black bystanders, including children. The expanding crowd pleads with the police officers to let up on Floyd. “He enjoying that,” a bystander observes of Chauvin’s demeanor. “It’s the Whites. They like to mess with Black people,” a woman can be heard saying.
The recording also captures a White-appearing woman who has united with the crowd to call for Floyd’s release. As of now, this woman has yet to be identified, but in this situation, she isn’t just your typical “Becky” with a camera.
What might happen if the “Beckys,” “Karens,” and “Amys” of this world actually used their racial privilege in the interests of social justice?
“Check for a pulse. Let me see a pulse!” she insists. She introduces herself as “a first responder,” which means a great deal in the current context, where a disproportionate number of African Americans are dying and suffering from Covid-19. It’s likely that, in…