Dear White Folks: You Don't Know How Easy You Have It

Writing at Ebony magazine, this white professor says it's time to stop denying racism and start admitting white privilege.  

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Trayvon Martin's parents

In a piece for Ebony magazine, this white professor says it's time to stop denying racism and start admitting white privilege. 

Dear White folks:

Between the racist comments, the constant use of the race denial card (this country's most frequently used "race card") and the absurd claims of White victimhood, you have really grated my last nerve.

Sure, we got teary during The Blind Side and Antoine Fisher; we maybe even gave money to KONY2012 and after Hurricane Katrina; we maybe even donned a hoodie to protest the murder of Trayvon Martin.  I don’t even doubt there are individuals out there who are genuinely concerned about racism and injustice; I don’t doubt that there are many Whites that marched with Dr. King and whose "best friends" might be Black.  None of this matters if African Americans continue to die at the hands of guns held by security guards and police officers all without justice 

I have heard that "we are all Trayvon Martin" over the last few weeks, yet we are not Trayvon Martin -- and we never could be. White America is never suspicious. White America can walk to the store without fear of being hunted down. White America can count on justice and a nation grieving at the loss of White life. We aren't Trayvon Martin, we are George Zimmerman: presumed innocent until proven innocent.

Read David Leonard's entire piece at Ebony.

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David J. Leonard is an associate professor in the department of critical culture, gender and race studies at Washington State University, Pullman.

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