Today I publicly renounce my white privilege card. I am not white.
Grannies Against Assholes
by Debi Knight Kennedy
I am not white
although I have enjoyed the privilege all of my life. See, I look the part. Mostly. I didn’t know I was a sham until I was well into in my forties. As a child growing up in a white middleclass family with two white siblings and two white parents I got a pass in spite of my habit of becoming “brown as a berry” every summer. I always wondered what kind of berry the good folks were referring to. I guess they thought they had to say something about the dark-haired dark-eyed brown-skinned little girl in the neighborhood. When I was old enough for my difference to seem exotic I was asked if I was Greek or of some other somewhat acceptable Mediterranean heritage. I’m Norwegian, I’d stutter. It was awkward and confusing. The facts of my life were eventually revealed. Turns out I’m not only half Mexican but a love child as well.
So enough already with this unintentional untruth. Today I publicly renounce my white privilege card. I am not white. I never was.
You got a problem with that? Good. Now we have something of substance to talk about. And while we’re at it, let’s talk about the demonization of strong powerful mouthy witchy warrior women. How about religion sexuality our beautiful fragile faltering planet? Am I leaving anything out? Maybe I should stop asking questions and just start a Grannies Against Assholes movement. Grannies Against Pussy Grabbers. Grannies Who Came Of Age In The 1960’s And Have Not Forgotten How To Fight. I am angry. I am sad. I am motivated to be a better champion. No more polite silence. I will write-sing-speak my truth. My voice will be my weapon in this war against everything I have ever believed to be good and right and true. I am a woman. Of color. Of courage. Of a coalition of postmenopausal rebels. And I am not alone.
Debi Knight Kennedy grew up in the ’60s in white suburbia near Seattle, Washington. After moving to the isolated hamlet of Haines, Alaska twenty years ago she became an artist, writer, radicalized puppeteer and feisty granny. She has written two books, Becoming Pearls, a collection of stories, essays & poems and The Way Things Are, a fable.