I am heartened by the efforts and saddened by the lack of results described in the Aug. 19 Metro article “Racial gaps prove hard to reduce.” White privilege is real. It benefits those of us who are white in every single aspect of our lives. I agree with Temi Bennett, director of policy and communication at the nonprofit Consumer Health Foundation: “It’s all good to talk about [inequity], but nobody wants to shift resources. The moment you start shifting resources, it starts to feel to white people like oppression.”
Shifting resources toward communities of color is essential. Look at South Africa. The reason deeply impoverished townships still exist decades after blacks attained significant political power and decades after the astounding work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is that land was not returned to its rightful owners.
Some white people’s feelings have stood in the way of human rights since before our country began. The promise of government by the people and for the people, all the people, is dependent on us cooperating. It is dependent on our recognizing our well-being is tied to others’ well-being. And especially now, in light of overt, cruel, systemic and rampant racism, it is dependent on our facing the great body of evidence proving we are no better than anybody else.
Judith Goedeke, Laurel