Wildly Co. Takes a Stand: Racism and White Privilege

Last month's graphic tank said "Liberty and Justice for All", but it doesn't feel much like that right now, does it...

If you look left or right it seems like our country is in trouble and hurting. There is no doubt that our children have seen or sensed the dire situation America is facing. At Wildly Co. we are deeply committed to championing the hearts of families which means bringing up some hard discussions that may be tender to many. We're willing to be a company that unpacks hard questions together and trust that as families we can work together to raise our kids in a God-honoring way.  

As director for Wildly Co. and a white American, I acknowledge that privilege exists for white Americans, and I want to encourage our Wildly Co. family to read further on issues of race in America. I dont't pretend to have all the answers, but I want this to serve as a place for safe conversation and further understanding. Please read the recommended links throughout--as they're more informative than this post. :)

RACE

America has a race problem. Still. In 2016. Unfortunately, this isn't an issue relegated to history books or old black and white news footage. America has a legacy of racism and brutality that draws a line straight through our history to the first days as a country.

Why are we still talking about black and white in the gray days of 2016? Because there is still a stark divide to the safeties and privileges afforded to men and women of color, even today.

To be honest, racism is something I thought died out a long time ago. I thought our elders dealt with all that nonsense back in the days of Rosa Parks and segregated everything. What I didn't realize, though, is that while equal rights may have been granted--there would never be such thing as equal privilege. 

We desperately need to dig in and tackle America's latent racism so it isn't a legacy we allow future generations to inherit. 

>>Further Recommended Reading: Understanding White Privilege by Francis E. Kendall

PRIVILEGE

As a white suburban woman, I didn't realize I had certain privileges a man or woman of color might not have. About 4 years ago I started to have an inkling things weren't quite as equal as was always touted. It turns out when we have privilege, most of the time we don't even really notice it.

That's kind of the point. It's so much part of our everyday that it feels invisible to us, it feels as though it's the same for everyone OR we've done something to deserve this leg up. The very invisibility of white privilege is the fuel that keeps the fire burning. 

Let me stop and take a minute to further define the idea of "white privilege".

Peggy McIntosh describes privilege as, "unearned power conferred systematically" or "an invisible package of unearned assets".

In America, these privileges go as far back as the fall-out from slavery, the Civil War, and the Jim Crow era. Separating family units through slavery, disallowing literacy, denying land-ownership and wealth, there are consequences within the American black culture that linger today.

>>Further Recommended Reading: White Privilege, Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

RESPONSE

We can deny it and assume that our grandparents dealt with all this in the 1950s and 1960s. But, that is simply not the truth. White men and women continue to reap the benefits of the giant leg up that simply being white affords them.

I, as a white female, don't know the answer, but Wildly Co. as a company is about helping families, all families--and families need to talk about these things. We need to educate ourselves and be willing to look outside the way of life we may have always known. We need to have an answer for our daughter as to why there are so few princesses who look like her. We need to be able to talk with our children when they want to know why things don't seem equal. 

Taking a stance against white privilege and racism seems counterintuitive to basic business best practices. But, we want all families to flourish and it isn't always true that families of color flourish. We want to stand with them and let them know we see them and that their lives matter.

>>Recommended Further Reading: Charleston Syllabus

>>Watch: ESPN 30-for-30 OJ Made in America

We are praying for liberty, justice, and peace in the United States. We are praying for the fair treatment of all Americans and also safety for the good police officers who keep us safe.