Hello fellow white ladies. I have some bad news. We are a mess. And we need to get our collective shit together.
And I’m not just talking about the bonkers white ladies out there picketing critical race theory and masks. Not just the white women who are inexplicably voting lock step with white men against body autonomy, science, and our kid’s futures. Yes, they are terrible. But their extreme rottenness makes it too easy for us to get nice and cozy in our own superiority.
I just sat through a two-hour D.C. Public School budget hearing where white lady after affluent white lady spoke about how the new funding systems, designed to increase equity, would harm their predominantly white, upper class schools.
Of course they all claimed to favor equity. Theyareprogressivesafterall. And yet each of them followed up their support for equality with a big HOWEVER and then went on to talk about how their schools would lose a small fraction of the privilege and favor that they have come to believe they deserve. White ladies are happy to talk the talk about our progressive values, but when anyone comes into our white spaces and tries to wrestle a tiny piece of our privilege away… well that’s another story.
It’s in school funding, plain and simple. In a once majority and now plurality Black city, the overwhelmingly white schools are beautiful and far too many majority Black schools are crumbling.
It’s in infrastructure projects. My own neighborhood had long suffered from water and sewage problems and would flood with every heavy rain. The city neglected neighbor pleas for years, until a bunch of gentrifying white families like mine moved in and the supportive maintenance soon followed. Walking or driving around white neighborhoods, we see safer, slower roadway designs and lush tree canopies. A stark counter to the wide roadways where cars fly through equally residential, but not white, neighborhoods. And on and on and on.
We need to cut all this shit immediately.
So sure, let’s stop being nice to our crazy anti-vaxxer cousins. But we also need to speak up at the next PTA meeting or brunch or at the playground when our fellow white ladies are acting out. And more than that, we need to use our time and our voices to stop solely prioritizing our own self-interest. We need to live our supposed progressive values. We need to sign up to testify at budget hearings and council hearings and anywhere else that our privilege and whiteness have opened the doors for us. Let’s amplify and support the voices of Black women who have been doing this work for decades. Let’s listen, but also let’s be more active in taking on our own.
The white ladies are not okay. And no one can fix it but us.