An Open Letter To All The White People Showering Jenny Lundt With Love

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An Open Letter To People Showering Jenny Lundt With Love For Her White Privilege
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Thank you, but...

I am not white. I will never be white. Even if I end up with a white woman, I will never share wth her the white privilege that she inherently possesses. Even if I become a citizen of the United States, I will forever be a brown man, a possible terrorist, and a possible threat to all that is America.

In its infinite irony, the Western culture, while dividing us all along the lines of color and nationality, has also united us all in a prison. A prison we cannot escape. A prison of race.

While we non-white people are locked on the inside, white people are locked on the outside.

Try as we might, the voices of people of color are constantly drowned by the walls of systemic racism, while white people, trying to help, face a similar situation where their voices cannot reach us over the cacophony of ignorance and the system that divides us.

Every once in a while a person manages to scream loud enough for both sides to hear what they have to say.

Unfortunately, this is more often than not a white person.

This was the case with Jenny Lundt, who, in an act of desperate hopelessness, tried to shine a light on what happened at her college, Colgate University, when a black male sophomore was seen rushing into a building, shirtless (which for some reason seems to be very important for the record, as it has been repeatedly mentioned in all reports of the incident), and carrying a glue gun in one hand.

Whoever called security thought he had an actual weapon, which led to a campus shutdown with warnings issued to the students with reports of first an emergency and then an “active shooter."

Later on the night of the event, Jenny Lundt posted a picture of herself taken at the university a year before this incident on Facebook.

In the photo, she is holding what looks like a Katana sword with one leg resting on a couch, as if she had conquered the defenseless seat — a mere joke. She says that she had been seen running around the halls with the sword in one hand and people had found it amusing and innocent fun. An actual sword was in her hand — in fact, one of the deadliest swords in the history of swords, the proud weapon of the samurais — and no one felt threatened in the least.

A black man running in the rain to finish his assignment, with a glue gun in hand was enough of a threat to call campus security, and the rest will now be history.

This stark difference in treatment and what people perceive as a threat in modern America is the elusive beast that is "white privilege."

It is a demon that only appears to those who are willing to see it, especially if they are white. For people of color, it haunts us daily, save for those who willfully ignore it in an effort to fit in with their white friends. It is a constant reminder that even though we were created equal, we are not treated as equal.

I praise Jenny Lundt for doing this, for providing an irrefutable example of white privilege at work. But I must also concede, that I am filled with dejection.

One of the greater things about white privilege is that it affords a white person the chance to be heard. Every day, people of color (POC) protest the injustices and racial abuse that they experience and find troves of white people relentlessly downplaying their reality.

They call it a “victim mentality” and chalk it up to another example of people segregating themselves.

They cite examples of poor white people who, in their eyes, have no privileges and are just as unfairly treated as people of color.

They call it classism and not racism, saying that the media has blinded us all and is forcing us to see racism where it doesn’t exist.

In their happy little Bob Ross painted worlds, racism is a thing of the past and people of color are polluting the American culture by dredging up these pseudo-racist incidents, further dividing an already divided world. In their eyes, we are the culprits, the element of society that won’t let America heal, constantly chipping at an old wound, making it bleed afresh every time they try to forget about their shameful heritage.

To those people, I present the aftermath of Jenny Lundt's Facebook post.

If you read the comments on her post, you will see tons of people praising her, showering her with adulations and admiration for being a hero, a true revolutionary who isn’t afraid to speak the truth and expose the racism that still exists in American society.

To those people, I ask, where is this response when you see black men being incarcerated every day while white men walk free for the same crimes or more? Where is this outpouring of attention when black children are being shot by the police every day, while your own white children are being raised in the ignorance afforded by their skin? Where is this praise when black activists march up and down the city squares all over the country screaming “Black Lives Matter” and all they hear in return is "All Lives Matter." Where is this immediate acceptance of the truth when I tell people that I have been consistently racially profiled every time I fly in from India because of the melanin in my skin, my hair, and my beard?

Why do we face the suspicion while Jenny Lundt receives only praise?

To Jenny Lundt, I have nothing but respect and appreciation for you as a person.

But I have to tell you that, seeing the pictures on your Facebook profile, I could not help but feel a stinging jealousy of the life you live.

You have traveled around the world and seen wonderful things, all as a pretty white female with whatever luxuries that afforded you.

I hate this. I hate feeling jealous of you. Maybe you worked hard for it; maybe you were just born rich; maybe it was your white privilege. I don’t know. But the fact that I cannot help but wonder how your life would’ve been different if you were not a pretty white female is a saddening reality we must contend with every day. I truly believe that you must be a good person to shine a light on these issues and use your privilege to raise awareness — and yet I feel jealousy. And I hate feeling it.

I see all this adulation and adoration you are getting because you are a white girl raising awareness, while people of color are constantly screaming from the rooftops and whole congregations of white people just ignore them relentlessly.

Blinded by their own experience, unable to escape their bubble, to see beyond their reality.

I also realize that this must be frustrating for you as well, for even when you try to do good, your white privilege takes over and while you get socially and perhaps even financially (indirectly) rewarded, people of color will continue suffering, the same as always. You are a prisoner too, only your prison is much much nicer. So perhaps, jealousy is not all that irrational after all, no?

I am sorry for the both of us. Prisoners, one and the same.

I do not write this to question Jenny’s post or the aftermath of it.

If anything, I am grateful for it.

I only write this to help people realize that even in exposing white privilege as she did, she is only exposing even more white privilege through the stark difference between the massive positive response from white people she's been receiving and the negative responses she clearly would have received had she been a black person trying to talk about white privilege instead.

The burden of proof, alas, lies with the oppressed and not with the oppressors. Such is systemic racism. Such is our reality. So we persist.

Kindly share this till it reaches Jenny Lundt, for above all it is a thank you note to her.

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