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{Facebook post by Sarah Bonse reprinted here with permission.}

I was born into a world I did not “earn”. Born to parents who have navigated their own worlds and struggles to bring me into my own. From birth I have enjoyed privileges so freely given, they seemed natural and guaranteed to me as what was rightfully mine.

The American history I was taught couldn’t be defined as educational even by the most generous standards. I was indoctrinated into a cult of white supremacy. In my sheltered world I believed that racism was over, that white people chose do to the right thing, freed the slaves and “gave” black people equal rights.

I cannot begin to express the deep shame that has come with a real education of this country’s history. The ground I walk is soaked in the blood and tears of those white supremacy slaughtered and enslaved.

I would not be where I am today if not for every single opportunity given to me by those who decided to give me a chance despite my mere high school diploma and often blunt prickly attitude. Yes, I worked hard to show that I deserved those opportunities but there mere extension of a chance to try is privilege. That is my white privilege. I have been given chance after chance to prove myself.

Black people, people of color, Native Americans, my beloved fellow Mexicans, are all to often denied that trust. They are not given the same opportunities that I have and that is a crime. That is not right. I must recognize this as yet another opportunity that I have been trusted with; to educate myself and be part of this cultural movement that takes us in the right direction.

Imagine the glory waiting for us if everyone is given the opportunity to shine.

I can’t tell you how many times my friends have brought me to tears with their fierce advocacy for what is right. Joseph Rothrock, Rachel King, Heidi Joy Niswonger-Dulom, Michael John Allen, and many others. I look up to you. You’re the light in the dark for me when it gets really hard to face this reality.

Thank you Mom (Catherine Bryant) for being a figure of empathy and never making me feel like I need to apologize for being passionate about these and many other issues. Thank you to Nanny Kris for modeling fierce womanhood and that willingness to look the darkness right in the eye.

I carry thoughts of you all with me every day. Thank you.

– Sarah