Wow, Maha, I’ve skimmed some of the 25 comments here and it looks like you have touched a lot of people in very deep, meaningful ways, congratulations and thank you for that.
As you know, I read your piece several days ago – these thoughts on this subject are something you and I talk a lot about via DM in Twitter and I wanted to thank you publicly for your kindness, tolerance, and patience with me as I struggle with the concept of white privilege, so thank you :).
As the wife of an Indian and mother of Indian children (goodness I get so tired of saying it, but it makes a difference, right?), I know I’m white-with-privilege, regardless of my family. I know this because of the way people’s faces change – their way of talking, even their body language – when they find out that my family is not as white as I am. That alone is enough to remind me that things are different for non-Whites and that I can only guess at the differences and respect that.
The part of your post that struck home the most (and has me up at 4AM typing this comment) was the part about token, caricature non-Whites in television and movies, etc. It hit so close to home because, in many ways, that’s where my real journey started. My girls (7 and 9 yrs old) would want to watch Disney Channel television shows and I would see Indians and others of color portrayed in the most disturbing ways, and yet my children would be laughing and my husband was fairly blase about it because he grew up with it…but it’s not right and I want my kids to see the underlying assumptional framework so that they know it’s Disney’s problem – not my kids’ problem.
So I know I’m not non-white and yet I find myself in a very scary predicament – I see something that impacts my children and I don’t know how to deal with it because I didn’t have to deal with it myself. And so, initially for my children but now for myself, I have embarked on a journey to figure some things out so that they and I can talk about it and I can give a slightly more educated perspective than I had before. It’s a weird place to be in.
So thanks for being there, both in DM and in blog posts, to be an anchor, to provide a safe place, to keep me sane, and to teach me new things everyday. I realize you don’t have to do any of that and I respect and honor your choice to help us all be better people. Thank you.