…”it’s everywhere you want to be.”

Thanks to my dear friend Flora Devine for the comment below. With her permission, I simply had to graduate it from a comment to a post. Keep reading after that, I share a haunting personal story that illustrates the opposite of white privilege:

Flora wrote:
I heard someone on NPR this morning [7.16.13] discussing white privilege.  The woman said that she was recently caught in the rain, and pulled the hood of her hoodie over her head and realized that, as a white woman, her white privilege allowed her to wear a hoodie in public without fear of people seeing her as a criminal or a thug. Peggy McIntosh’s article on White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack is a classic.  I have provided a link below:

http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

Now, my TRUE story ~

Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 8.48.31 PM

On my morning walks it’s not unusual for me to wear a hooded sweatshirt against the chill, with a baseball cap under it for the sun. Practical and comfortable. I was dressed this way walking on a hill near our house sometime after Trayvon’s murder. I came to the bottom of the hill just as an elderly white man was driving up. We’ve passed each other many times on that hill in this same way, but this time when we made eye contact I saw him actually jump from fright at seeing me!…now just a black face in a hoodie.

I smiled, as always, being careful now to keep my hands shoved deep into the sweatshirt pockets. All the way home kept seeing his face and the instant fear register in his body and thought “I”ll be damned. It’s true: I AM TRAYVON MARTIN”.

On the walk home I became more and more shaken telling myself it was a good thing I kept my hands in my pockets. If I’d taken one out to wave—as I’d done many times with this man—he might’ve thought I had a gun (or a chunk of sidewalk) and who knows what his response would’ve been.

How successfully America has demonized the young black male. I’m one of the nicest middle-aged women you’ll ever meet, but put me in a hoodie and baseball cap, walking in certain monochromatic neighborhoods in Marin County California and suddenly even I am to be feared.

The truth ~ regardless of our color and on which side of this issue we stand; WE ARE ALL TRAYVON MARTIN.