A December 4 Black Lives Matter protest in Las Vegas. (Photo by Beverly Yuen Thompson)
A new poll from the Pew Research Center reveals an upsetting reality: what you think about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner likely depends on your race. The research group polled 1,500 adults and asked them their thoughts on the recent grand jury decisions not to indict the police officers who killed Garner and Brown. While 90 percent of black people polled say that the grand jury made the wrong decision in not indicting the officer who killed Garner, only 47 percent of white people felt that way. It seems like widespread protests of the rulings haven’t helped wake white people up to the idea that interactions with the police are strongly colored by race.
I don’t have much to add to this that hasn’t already been said. But Franchesca Ramsey summed up this issue excellently in a new video about how to be an ally. To be an ally, she says, the first step is to think about your own privilege:
“A lot of people get hung up on the word privilege. It does not mean that you’re rich, that you’ve had an easy life, that you’ve never had to struggle or work hard. All it means is that there are some things in life that you will not experience or have to think about just because of who you are. It’s kind of like those horses who have blinders on. They can see just fine. There’s just a whole bunch of stuff on the side that they can’t see.”
These poll results make it clear that there’s a whole reality that white people often just do not see. These charts stand out from the report and I hope every white person who reads this stops to think about what’s in their blind spots.
Related Reading: Who Thinks Race Isn’t a Big Deal in Ferguson?
Sarah Mirk is Bitch Media’s online editor. You can follow her rants on Twitter @sarahmirk.