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No place among rainbows

I am a tall, white, Christian, heterosexual male.

I am a member of each of the majorities that from what I’ve heard, exist only to parade themselves as the patriarchs of society. As such, I am part of the only group that society is openly permitted to ridicule and hate, while remaining politically expedient – because I am white and cannot be discriminated against.

So, I’d like to share a little bit about my privileged life being a white man.

When I was just 3 years old, my parents separated. Growing up, I saw my father only about three times a year. My oldest brother is both mentally and physically handicapped, he rolls around in a wheelchair and has what doctors call retardation.

Because of this, coupled with the fact that she had me and another three sons to raise, my mother couldn’t go to work and earn money; raising us was a full-time job.

We ultimately had to leave our house and live with our grandparents.

We weren’t privileged to have gaming consoles like most kids in the 1990s, so we spent our time outside. The newest car my family currently owns is a 1995 Ford van, and it doesn’t even run. My mom, brother and I used to all share a bed in the back room while my other two brothers slept in a room out in the garage.

Come Christmas time we would all go out to the 99-cent store, and my mom would give each of us boys a $5 bill so we could buy presents for each other.

Eventually we bounced back and got our house back, although our financial trouble were far from over.

In regards to clothing, everything was a hand-me-down: shirts, pants, even my underwear. I walked around with the knowledge that three of my brothers wore this underwear before me, and by the time I had them they had yellow stains in the front and brown in the back.

Yet despite all of this I am constantly bombarded with the assertion, “you are privileged.” If I question the assertion I am swiftly dismissed with an unthoughtful, “you don’t know what it’s like being dark skinned (or whatever skin tone it is).” But this statement is based upon the assumption that the other person somehow knows what it’s like to be white.

I look at our candidates for school governing board, many of whom run on a platform of diversity within the faculty.

But when has diversity ever included white people? When I enter the workforce my eligibility for employment will be predicated on the color of my skin rather than the quality of my grades.

In this new society people of color receive compensation for the transgressions against them in a time before they were born, and I receive judgment as if I was part of the transgressors crusade against the oppressed.

Now the world is making rainbows and as we all know white has no place among rainbows.

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