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?

Tikia K. Hamilton, Ph.D.


Protestors yell at Hennepin County Sheriff’s officers at a rally on Thursday, May 28, 2020, during the third day of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

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…