Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

VAUGHAN: Ending systemic racism is on everyone

Privilege in society cannot come at the expense of of our neighbours

I’m afraid to write about race.

I’m afraid, not because I don’t feel it’s important to speak out against intolerance, racism and police brutality, but because I truly believe I can never understand just how much my vast amount of privilege from being a white man has afforded me and I fear my voice and words will never encapsulate how much people of colour are mistreated in our society.

However, it is important for me to show solidarity with the protests we are seeing around North America because there are so many things that my privilege has granted me, many of which African Americans, Indigenous peoples and people of colour may have lost their lives for.

I have been able to make choices in my life like driving over the speed limit on a highway; participating in peaceful protests; speaking out in public forums; going jogging; and going for walks through white neighborhoods. I have been able to make those everyday choices without thinking which of those choices could have led to my death if I was black. I’m white and male, so I lived…because of my privilege.

I don’t want to live in a world that is this unequal; I don’t want to live in a world with police brutality against people of colour; I don’t want to live in a world with this much pain; I don’t want to live in a world that allows me to live peacefully at the expense of others and I want to be part of a solution that is anti-racist, anti-fascist and loving.

How can I, and people like me, be part of this solution?

The truth is I’m not educated enough on the pain endured by people of colour and I need to fix that. I try to read black and Indigenous authors, I try to listen to black and Indigenous voices. I try to see past the power my privilege has afforded me, but I need to do more in order to help create a world that is fair to everyone. I, and others who share my privilege, need to educate ourselves even if it’s uncomfortable.

Most of all, I need to be comfortable with the idea of letting go of my own privilege in order to create a truly equal world for people of colour in our world. I have been awarded power in a society that structurally limits and oppresses others in my favour. I may not have have asked for that privilege, but I have undoubtedly benefited from it. I need to realize that just because I believe I am not overtly racist – that doesn’t mean I haven’t lived in a structurally racist society that I need to help tear down.

The last week has seen the seams in western society crack. Rather than patch those seams and allow crimes like the murder of George Floyd to happen again, the system needs to be rebuilt from the ground up allowing for love and tolerance, while rejecting racism, fascism, violence and police brutality.

Black Lives Matter and it is up to everyone to let go of privilege and stand up for every one of those black lives.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported an additional 456 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Five new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, two in Red Deer

Province reports 456 new cases of COVID-19

Businesses are getting creative to keep cash flowing. (File photo)
Central Albertan lobbying government to help those affected by CERB repayments

Catherine Hay says she received a letter in November saying she had to completely repay the benefit

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. Public opposition to the Alberta government’s plans to expand coal mining in the Rocky Mountains appears to be growing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File
Alberta cancels coal leases, pauses future sales, as opposition increases

New Democrat environment critic Marlin Schmidt welcomed the suspension

File photo
Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit recovers valuable stolen property

Property valued at over $50,000 recovered by Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit.

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File)
First Nations seek to intervene in court challenge of coal policy removal

Bearspaw, Ermineskin and Whitefish First Nations are among those looking to intervene

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Lacombe is looking at its options for reclaiming sewage lagoons that are no longer needed. Vesta Energy Ltd. has signed a deal to use three lagoons to store water for fracking.
Map from City of Lacombe
Energy company to use former Lacombe sewage lagoons to store water for fracking

Vesta Energy Ltd. will pay Lacombe more than $100,000 a year in 20-year deal

Most Read