By: Rosalyn L. Glenn
Dear White Men;
You are the problem!
I appreciate those of you acknowledging how difficult the current environment is, especially for black people. I’m grateful for the awakenings occurring within some of you across this country. I commend you for reckoning with yourselves and facing the realities that black people, and frankly, anybody not like you, have dealt with for a long time. However, there are still too few of you who get it and still too few of you who are courageous enough to change it.
Back in July 2018, before he even decided to run for president, I had the opportunity to be part of a long conversation with VP Biden. The topics were wide-ranging and far-reaching and he was honest and forthright. He said that he recognized the reality of white privilege and suggested it was a grave impediment to the advancement of the Constitutional Rights of all people. He intimated that he knew this country had never met its own standard and expressed the need for change — systemic change. He spoke of how he has carried the weight of his white privilege and used it to change the narrative in order to create a space for equity and opportunity for all people all of his life.
As white men, you have the power to stop the rhetoric of your brethren who continue to promote white patriarchal supremacy. You can be courageous and hold them accountable for actions that are contrary to the healing of what ails South Carolina and this country.Rosalyn L. Glenn
I and the five other black women who were a part of that conversation committed, then and there, that if he decided to run for President, we would do everything in our power to support his candidacy. We saw that he understood his privilege and would use it to help our people, a mission that almost always falls to black women.
As sad as it was to say then and is sad to say now, we knew that this country was not ready to elect a woman, white or black, and most assuredly, not another black man. It has been beyond clear for years that this country was only going to elect a white man. But we also knew that white men can be allies in the fight for equal rights and justice for all. So, in our estimation, we needed to elect a white man unafraid to recognize the plights of this country that white men have allowed to proliferate. Our hope was that he would change the course and give us the opportunity to start a new one.
To that end, white men, just as you are the problem, you can contribute to the solution, if you choose. Case in point, the comments of our current, unqualified State Treasurer, repulsed me and I prayerfully hope many of you felt similarly. As white men, you have the power to stop the rhetoric of your brethren who continue to promote white patriarchal supremacy. You can be courageous and hold them accountable for actions that are contrary to the healing of what ails South Carolina and this country. You can acknowledge that systemic racism, sexism, fascism and every other negative isms that exist in this America do so because white men have allowed it. You can stop voting party over people and electing those who enable you, and only you, to achieve the American dream while preventing others from achieving the same. You can stop giving jobs and contracts to your friends and family knowing they are not qualified nor deserving. You can speak truth to your own perceived power and use it for the betterment of all communities, our State, and this great country. And, for God’s sake, you can stop letting your white brothers use the Holy Writ to justify their narrow-minded, divisive words and actions.
With all due respect sirs, get your knee off our necks, PLEASE. If we are going to succeed in our efforts to right these wrongs, my white brothers, we need you to own the sins of this country, ask forgiveness for committing such, repent from those evil ways and eradicate racism at its core.
Sincerely and While I breathe and hope,
Rosalyn L. Glenn, Lifelong Citizen of South Carolina