We’ve been told our whole lives that our privileges were earned, either from hard graft or natural “merit”. These are lies, albeit lies we hold onto tightly and perhaps don’t believe we can survive without.
Being Jewish gives me a particular perspective on racism and white supremacy. I know first hand what it is to benefit from racial privilege. But the fact that my privilege is contingent—in a way that doesn’t apply to white Anglo-Saxon Protestants—makes it easier for me to resist white denial.
Fifty years after the Race Relations Act, systemic racism is alive and well. We’re still trying to eliminate workplace racial inequality by rooting out individual prejudice while ignoring the power structures which sustain racism.
The whole idea of professional neutrality is a myth that obscures the workings of power. Our attempts to distance ourselves from politics is itself a political act—one that serves the status quo.