Happy #worldphotographyday to my wonderful photographer friends from around the world! This photo shows photographers from the US, India, Saudi Arabia, and the Netherlands, who I had the pleasure to collaborate with in college. Selfie credit from Clemson House to none other than the king of selfies, @shehzad_ziaee
This not okay, y'all. I don't even know what to say, really, because I am and will be a lifelong beneficiary of white privilege. But I've been watching and listening and reading and it seems that what someone in my position can do is to lovingly but firmly tell my fellow white people that racism is not okay. White supremacy is not okay. Nazism is not okay.
I went to a private Christian school for 13 years, and for nearly all of that time there was a school policy against interracial dating. I remember teachers glorifying Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson during history lessons.
I grew up a few miles down the road from a small town that had a store on the town square called "The Confederate Shop." The windows were festooned with Confederate flags, and they sold KKK merchandise. They only closed down in 2013.
Just a few weeks ago, a white customer told my black coworker that he changes his water filter when "it's about the same color as [her] skin."
NONE of this is okay, fellow white folks. I know I have plenty of followers from South Carolina (where I live) and y'all grew up seeing and hearing similar things. If you do not find yourself heartsick at what happened in Charlottesville, if you do not find yourself disturbed by the little snippets I've described above, I implore you to take a moment to visit the link in my profile and read through some of the resources compiled there. If you're not quite on board with the concept of white privilege, if you feel resistant to or antagonized by the concept, that's okay. It's a lot to take in. But please take it in with an open mind, even if it's only for a moment. Because this is not okay.