Best Self Magazine

The Rights and Responsibilities of White Privilege in a Time of Racism

The Rights and Responsibilities of White Privilege in a Time of Racism by Kristen Heimerl. Photograph of pigeons against a white / black contrast wall by Philippe Leone.
Photograph by Philippe Leone

Ignoring your privilege does not make it go away, nor does denying its power to make effective change.

Evil cracker! Evil cracker! Evil cracker!”

The words came hurling at me as I was leaving a store in St. Louis Park with my dementia-cursed mother who still has enough defiance and chutzpah to refuse a cane to assist her labored walking. “Huh? Are you talking to me?” I said as I was blindsided in the vestibule by a raging woman and her friend spewing words of hate toward my mother and me, presumably because I’d suggested to a clerk that the store was being poorly managed during the holiday season. 

The words came at me again, and again and again like a stream of angry silver pellets from

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