Most people think they are 'nice' so when someone tells them something they have said isn't nice, they don't take it well. Because if they are nice, they don't say 'not nice' things.
Jane Elliott has been an activist for human rights for a long time. If you don't know about her, I strongly suggest taking some time to watch this
The first time I saw it, I was chilled to the bone - that discrimination can so easily be taught, to the point of demonizing someone else. There are other examples of how people become dehumanized - I won't include them here. Rest assured, they exist.
If you are white and object when the term white privilege is used, think about what that term means. And why someone might suggest that you, personally, benefit from white privilege in North American society.
Someone once said: No one is saying that a white person doesn't have a difficult life. What they don't have is the colour of their skin making their life even more difficult.
During this time of Covid-19, people are pointing out that we may all be in the same storm, but we are riding it out in different boats. Mine is pretty secure, but others? May be leaking, might be rudderless, might not be much better than a raft.
We are at a crucial stage right now where many of the inequities of society can be examined and maybe even changed to improve things for everyone. But it seems that some folk are determined to grab all the 'pie' they can and deny any for those 'others'. Why? You can only consume so much 'pie' and then what? It goes bad? You throw it away? Why not share it in the first place? How much 'pie' does one person actually need? (I'm looking at you, every billionaire in the world.)
Corporations are grabbing all the financial resources they can. I forget which big business just recently went bankrupt - after paying their upper management millions of dollars in 'bonus' money. They get a 'bonus' for navigating their business into bankruptcy? Wow. In the meantime their employees get...nothing. Airlines scooped up millions in pandemic funding - and then refuse to refund money on tickets people like me have paid for and are unable to use. And then they announce employee layoffs, once the money is into the pockets of their share holders and upper management.
If you are white and want to break out of your bubble, there are lists of resources available on line. You might read some political science, like James Laxer. He has written extensively about Canada/US relations but also the history of North America. Which is not pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Also Ziya Tong's The Reality Bubble, especially the section on social 'bubbles'. But there are so many more.
I am constantly surprised at how many white people have no clue about the history of their country. I am constantly surprised by their 'surprise' at how the US and Canada (and many other countries around the world) were shaped by the very notion of white privilege, the 'white man's burden' (if you don't know what that is, google it) and how discrimination and oppression has shaped the culture we currently live in.
While I may not be personally responsible for this history, I can change things going forward.
Over the weekend, the protests about the death of George Floyd raged all across the US. White people can help change things in many ways. One example was in acting as a 'white shield' to protect black people from the actions of militarized police.
The police appeared to also be targeting journalists, two of whom were shot in the face and were blinded.
In Canada we have similar dynamics at work so we must not be 'smug' about how 'nice' we are.
As it was said in 'my' day - if you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
What can you do to help everyone in this storm? (Hint - if nothing else, you can vote for politicians who are not demonizing or in some cases actively trying to kill their electorate.)