What My Bike Has Taught Me About White Privilege, By Jeremy Dowsett

789 WordsOct 8, 20174 Pages
There are many issues with varying amount of prevalence that need to be discussed in our world currently. Privilege is one of those issues. Jeremy Dowsett opens discussion on white privilege with his essay What My Bike Has Taught Me about White Privilege in which he speaks being a cyclist trying to navigate the road and stay safe. Jeremy Dowsett uses an extended analogy on the implications of living as a person of color in an infrastructure designed to benefit white people. According to Dowsett, white people tend to be extremely uncomfortable with the phrase “white privilege,” it elicits a feeling of defensiveness from those who believe that they are not racist or privileged and are good people. Even if your are a devout Christian who…show more content…
He mentions that while there are some people who actively try to put him in danger, most drivers do not even realize when their actions jeopardize him. Dowsett says, “I can imagine that for people of color in a white-majority context feels a bit like being on a bicycle in the midst of traffic. They have the right to be on the road… but that doesn’t change the fact that they are on a bike in a world made for cars.” People of color have every right to exist and are (usually) given the same opportunities as white people, however it can be ten times more difficult for them to achieve the same goals because of a skewed infrastructure. Drivers are not all are inherently bad people who are just out to run down bicyclists, just as white people are not all white supremacists; however, there is an unknown bias we all have due to the influence of media and infrastructure. This cannot be undone easily, it can be, but it takes an abundance of work, dialogue, and understanding between countless people. Dowsett explains this by saying, “... Bike lanes are relatively new, and still just kind of an appendage on a system that is inherently car-centric.” Dowsett’s use of informal language and a conversational tone really helps him get his point across. His essay is not a lecture on those who have privilege, it’s a conversation starter to begin disassembling the infrastructure that excludes those who do

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