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Don’t confuse privilege with supremacy -- Stephanie Lowden

January 6, 2019

I found the Dec. 30 article ” Activists shine light on racism ” very interesting. I am white and I am privileged. We live in a society built on white privilege.

I was concerned, however, that the phrase “white supremacy” has now been generalized to define our society as a whole. This concerns me because that phrase immediately conjures up the image of the Holocaust and demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting, “The Jews will not replace us.”

By referring to the whole of our culture as white supremacist, we minimize the history of that evil phenomena. We minimize what happened in Charlottesville, an act of murder committed by a white supremacist. Neo-Nazis have been crawling out from under their rocks since Donald Trump was elected president. We minimize that very real threat when we say everyone is a white supremacist.

White privilege describes more accurately how our culture works. Words matter. We must be careful to use them wisely.

Stephanie Lowden, Madison

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