If you want some insight into *why* this is a case of white privilege, watch this. The commentary of the black vlogger (that begins as he pauses a minute or so in on the defense lawyer’s explanation) was eye opening to me as a white person.
I *thought* could see white privilege well; I first learned about it in 1990 at Hampshire College and try to be aware of it… but the nuance of it is *so invisible* because of cultural assumptions I carry with me that when it’s pointed out it was like a slap in the face. How could I miss what should be so obvious?
Addition: When I first wrote the above, I wrote “vlogger” not “black vlogger”.
Why? It’s my training. As a white person, I’m trained to *not* mention race.
But what I never learned is: Sometimes it *is* important to mention race.
Here, it makes a difference. Why?
There’s a missing variable if I just say “vlogger” that can make a difference in how we judge his perspective. As a white person, not saying race gives it the white assumption: “He will have the default (white) perspective on things.”
“But I don’t judge by race”. But we do.
Who would we expect to know more about white privilege? Someone who is white or something who is non-white?
The answer should be: someone who is non-white.
So, here, a mention of race carries important information that’s lost when just saying “vlogger”.
I have another example where *not* mentioning race makes a diference.
[btw- they each got the Judge’s name wrong – he’s not happy about it either – there was an interesting exchange between the named judge and the local news radio station who originally misreported the name on their page]
Now once you accept that this sentencing took place as it did – and I can give you my thoughts as to _why_ the Judge gave the sentencing he did – which may even seem reasonable for a moment (but it’s not) – let me point out something *missing* from this story.
What’s the race of the baby?
With eyes recently opened a little further on white privilege the other week, I investigated on a hunch. Here’s what’s being *left out* of the story:
Before I say: I believe the judge thought it was a smart move. He wasn’t tried as a juvie because there’s not many resources for sex offenders in juvie, so instead, try him as an adult so he can get rehabilitation. After all, he’s just a boy and boys make mistakes and prison makes people worse than they are. Give the boy a chance to make it right and become an upstanding member of society.
This is what I think the sentencing judge was thinking. Seems reasonable?
Now, here’s what I discovered when researching the case to its origins, something missing from future news reports…
The toddler was African American.
Now, look at the sentencing again knowing this.
What does the sentencing say about the relative importance of the guy who committed the crime (and video taped it) in the eyes of the justice system vs the victim? Versus people of the race of the victim?
I’ll give something similar I found to compare this with. Sorry for so much space, but it’s like a new pair of eyes for me again, because just when I thought I understood the depth of this problem, I REALLY didn’t :