Seeing Through White Privilege

So what happens to this “White Privilege” work after you’ve been exposed to it and working it for 6 months?
I find that it has changed me-fundamentally.
After the initial slap in the face that was a wake up
I made a concerted effort to reach out to more diverse groups of people and find out what was real for them.
This has done nothing but expand my world and help me feel more connected
to the lives of Black, Brown, Native folks, and transgender people. My relationships with women in general have also opened up significantly and I think that is due to some other long-term work I’ve been doing, but it’s certainly been enhanced by the privilege work.


In getting on the internet, I’ve been exposed to some of the “you stupid white male privileged so-and-so” energy but most of my experience has been very welcoming.
It’s been like taking a deeper breath of air or a good drink of water. Enlivening. Hydrating. And as for the first thing – I told my wife yesterday: “It’s good to be growing a thicker skin, anyway!”


I’ve been attentive to the possibilities for growing a bigger, better ego out of this work like “Oh, I’m the guy who’s doing all that great White Privilege work” as if that makes me better somehow – definitely more politically correct! There’s a lot to learn, a lot to unlearn, a lot to grow, but I think that what’s important is how I’ve let this work change me, and how it’s helping me come back to Life. It’s helping me touch more deeply in with more diverse communities and with the Earth itself.


My online studies led me to “White Awake” (, which is a great site and offers lots of tools for going deeper into the deprogramming work – which is the way I’m coming to view the privilege work. It utilizes “The Work that Reconnects” which is a curriculum developed by Joanna Macy (who is a great light herself, who pioneered much of the early work around ways to confront the reality of nuclear power and weapons growing up in our midst). This work is occurring in communities all over the country and the world and offers support for coming out of the trance of privilege which keeps us disconnected from each other and from our own Life force.


One of the quotes from her book: “To come of age in America as a white person is to be educated into ignorance. It is to be culturally shaped to not know and not want to know the actual context in which you live” (attributed to Rebecca Parker)   Yow!!!


I think this is true. One of the requirements of maintaining privilege is to continue in ignorance. We must remain ignorant of everything that has been structured into our lives and the world to maintain that privilege for whites at the cost of everyone (and everything) else, but also ignorant about the way that continuing in this paradigm keeps us bound. It requires that we consent to live in a constricted world, unable to take advantage of all the amazing things offered by the diverse communities of the world and also that we live cut off from all the diverse beauty that lives within ourselves!


Waking up from this white dream is hard work, but now that I’ve walked down this path a bit, I wonder why I waited so long. Actually I know why it took the time that it did. I had to do all the other work that I did to get to this point, and I think this is true for everyone. Everyone I know is working so hard to come into a deeper congruence with themselves and the work unfolds the way it does according to how each individual is put together. I think we need to support everyone in doing their work and to check ourselves if we find ourselves being judgmental of where anyone else is at. We all need to help each other to wake up. I’m so glad that it’s happening now.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 at 12:04 pm and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


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