I hesitate to share this because I prefer to keep random acts of kindness to myself. But, reader, a few days ago my...
Crystal Lowery understands the privilege she has as a white woman, but it wasn't until this week, following a quick encounter at the park, that she realised just how powerful her privilege truly is.
"I hesitate to share this because I prefer to keep random acts of kindness to myself," she wrote in a Facebook post this week. "But a few days ago, my white privilege smacked me in the face so hard, it broke my heart."
Lowery, a mom and medical worker, was on her way home from work one evening when she noticed a group of Black teenagers playing basketball at a local court.
"These strapping young men silently observed me with a look in their eyes I never expected. Fear."
"I decided to buy them ice-cold Gatorade just to brighten their evening and remind them that they are loved," she said, acknowledging that some may qualify the act as white guilt or classify her as an "attention-seeking narcissist" for posting about it.
"Interrupting their game was going to be awkward, but I powered through and approached them with, 'Hi boys, I saw you playing out here and I just wanted to bring you drinks and tell you Black lives matter. Love y'all."
Then, she said, it happened.
"These strapping young men silently observed me with a look in their eyes I never expected," she said. "Fear."
She realised they were terrified of her, a "tiny little white lady in scrubs."
Lowery continued: "All at once I understood the power I held over these boys. I could say the word and falsely accuse them of anything, and I would be believed. I could ruin their lives, have them locked up. Just because I'm white and they're Black. These sweet young boys no doubt have loved ones who have been harassed, brutalized, and even sent to jail for infractions that would be a 'slap on the wrist' for me."
Beyond any amount of privilege she's experienced, she found this realisation to be the most profound, and the most disturbing. And she shared it publicly so that others in her position will remember the extent to which it exists.
As she ended her post: "The frightened eyes of those teenage basketball players will haunt me forever."