That was the word that plodded through my mind when planning the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition’s BisMan Metro Solidarity with Charlottesville rally for Monday. Being the firecracker and loose cannon that I am, I had wanted to get it going immediately on Sunday afternoon. So what if people will be inconvenienced, but what about Heather Heyer? Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and planning began to happen amidst many like-minded friends.
As the day progressed, I began thinking out all the tasks needed to pull this off, and the number of inconveniences those who take them on would experience. I was being inconvenienced of having to skip an audition on Monday. As that word weighed on me, I was struck with guilt.
My white privilege is being inconvenienced because I am helping organize a rally for solidarity? What about those persons of colors more vibrant than white who experience inconvenience perpetuated by white privilege?
The great amount of inconvenience that our friends experience daily throughout their lives, and their families have experienced for generations upon generations. Yes, as a gay man, I may have experienced some sort of inconvenience just for being gay. But it has never been a daily lived experience of mine personally.
The inconveniences our friends experience are fraught through and through with fear, anger, hatred, and violence. Murder is too often the outcome. Innocent lives destroyed because white privilege deems them to be different than, and inconvenient.
I will never fully understand another’s experience with daily lived inconvenience, simply just for being a color more vibrant than white. I can try to empathize. I can try to advocate. I will use my voice. I will use my will.
In the words from John F. Kennedy during his Civil Rights speech, “Today, we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. … It ought to be possible, in short, for every American to enjoy the privileges of being American without regard to his race or his color. … The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities; whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.”
The rally turned out wonderfully. A significant number of people allowed their lives to be interrupted and inconvenienced to stand in solidarity with our friends who experience the brunt of white privilege and colonialism. Words of challenge, and of encouragement were shared. It is good to advocate. Jesus did.
Thank you to one and all. Thank you.