*We welcome all points of view, as long as helpful and respectful and fact-based. Contribute your thoughts, if so inspired, here—our mission is to bring all together in mindful discussion, so that we may learn, share, and listen. ~ ed.
I walked by a homeless man the other night, preparing for sleep on the sidewalk.
There were many actually, but this man in particular caught my eye at just the right time.
I said, “I love you. Have good dreams.” He smiled and waved and said, “I love you, too.”
He was white.
I got into my car and drove home to a bed. I was the privileged one.
I am white.
We all wear our wounds—some of us in our hearts, some of us on our sleeves, some of us within our skin. As a people, none of us can get away from our wounds, our generationally inherited ancestral traumas, or the profound illusions we’ve turned into truths, that’ve required an undoing in order to know ourselves in a higher way.
I recently read an article that called on all spiritual white women to take a deeper look at white supremacy. The author spoke of what I, as a women with a platform, should be doing with my following—and that looks like speaking out against white privilege, or at least, acknowledging that it exists.
In essence, she said that if a white woman entrepreneur with a platform doesn’t speak out against white privilege, she is part of the problem.
Most people are speechless about this topic not because they don’t understand, not because they comply, but because the moment they speak their white truth, they’re told they do not understand.
And, how could they?
The problem does not lie in being a bigot, being a black person, or being a privileged white person. The problem is the wounds within us that feel impossible to heal. At best, we can throw them on someone else and tell them it’s their fault we’re still wounded. At worst, we internalize self-inflicted wounds and tell ourselves they’re right, and we really aren’t good enough.
So, I guess, suffice it to say, everyone who speaks out about white privilege is doing their best. I suppose that could also mean everyone who stays silent is either seen as a bigot by someone who wants them to speak up, or doing the worst thing possible—internalizing their own unworthiness because they were born with skin that is afforded privilege in this lifetime.
You may say, “Reincarnation isn’t real.” Okay, well history has reincarnated itself over and over again. Epigenetics is a dumbed down form of reincarnation at minimum, because it basically means that your grandfathers’ experiences are written on the walls of your psyche and you own them as if they’re yours.
At present, our dead grandfathers are alive in us. Those experiences are reborn in us if we don’t acknowledge them for resolve—which is exactly what I see happening now on a collective scale.
I see the resurfacing of past experiences that deeply want resolution in a society that’s not really consciously geared up to accept one—at least not a united one.
We identify with “sides”—and to change that, would mean the loss of how we separate ourselves.
There are two sides of the fence and what minorities have asked for, for years, is to eradicate the fence.
Why are we still staring at each other from two sides of it?
Black. White. Left. Right.
I watched a Trump supporter get beaten with a bike lock at a leftist rally.
I watched a black man get beaten by white men on the right.
It’s f*cked. It’s crazy. It’s scary. People on both sides are letting their own pain overflow onto each other, rather than standing in their power—which is where my silence has come in.
The sad thing is, people are saying if we don’t speak up, we don’t see it. That we’re preaching peace and love to people who otherwise have no room to find it in a world that ridicules them.
I want you to know if you’re white, I see you.
I want you to know if you’re black, I see you.
I want you to know that what “they” did to “your” people was not right and I understand that its scars live on in you today.
I understand that it feels demoralizing to feel unheard, and to step into a justice system that’s epically failing. I understand what it’s like to hear sh*tty results for your own life that are somehow controlled by bullsh*t you don’t even agree with. I actually, really do.
Mainly, what I want you to see is that there are some people who see a fence—and they want over it or to do away with it.
But those people are at the front line of a fence that both of them hate.
That’s why I stay silent. I won’t be at the front line of a war I disagree with that only exists today because it lives on from a past I equally disagree with.
I’m white. This time around the rodeo, anyway.
I remember lifetimes when I wasn’t.
I live in the land of the free. I’m privileged.
I remember lifetimes when I wasn’t.
The imprint of slavery on a people—epigenetically and consciously speaking—is a grave, grave burden to bear on a soul that has come forth with the DNA of someone who was enslaved. Hands down, this is true.
Who’s to say, though, that your white friend who’s privileged this time around wasn’t the black person you enslaved last time around the rodeo? A tough pill to swallow.
White supremacy exists in the actions of terrified people who do not see. I don’t have the divine understanding of the most sacred consequence for their fears, but my ego says the simplest articulation is that, for now, they should be cast aside.
I am not discounting that there are people like that, I am discounting that my whiteness makes me one of “those” people, and that my whiteness is your problem and my privilege. I will not betray myself by that belief as I would never ask you to betray yourself into believing that “you” are the thing holding me back from my truth.
I know what it’s like to be bullied, oppressed, beaten, to be totally f*cking voiceless, and to feel suffocated.
I know what it’s like to want to be seen as a person rather than a vagina. I know what it’s like to walk into a store and be followed around because, clearly, I wasn’t classy enough to be able to buy anything from there. I know what it’s like to walk into a clinic as a 20-year-old single mom of two and be looked at like trash by government workers and like a naïve, white girl by the black people in the waiting room.
All of us separate.
And all of this separation causes our collective pain. And that, in my opinion, isn’t going to be resolved on the front line of a war.
My silence to my platform isn’t some ungrounded, airy-fairy, lost in the cosmos of peace and love, “la-la-la-life is wonderful” kind of silence.
It is intentional. And to view it as less active or less “spiritual” is precisely the root of the separation we say we seek to eradicate.
Separation is separation. The worst kind of separation is when we separate from our Selves, which is what all of us have been asked to do in this insane world. We escape. And when I say, “I see you,” you jump up and scream, “No! You can’t possibly!”—and vice versa.
Beyond the illusion, white privilege is black privilege is life privilege—and not in that order.
We’re all privileged to be on the planet at a painfully expansive time and to trust that we can, and will, come out together.
But, if you’re on a side, who’s just trying to get to the other side, and standing on the front line trying to tear down an invisible fence that’s only carried forth into your mind from the media you see (or past inherited trauma)—then, you’re not being present to what’s happening in this exact moment. You’re resisting what is.
Because the media tells us we’re in war, we armor up around our own fear, and demonstrate our perceived weakness with a sense of power.
Media is not my God.
The fence is only in our minds.
Your experience is real. My experience is real.
You are my people. I am yours.
My silence is not because I don’t see. It is because I see.
Author: Stacy Hoch
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Social Editor: Sara Kärpänen