Ten Things Everyone Should Know About White Privilege Today

9.  The privilege discourse is missing an important element: empathy and compassion for the oppressor.  Social justice activist, Kit Miller (a White woman), observes that empathy has a hard time flowing upstream.

Few are more starved for empathy than those who have structural power, because they are often dehumanized on the basis of having that power. How many of us, for example, see police officers as individual human beings motivated by the same universal human needs (e.g., love, acceptance, contribution, mutuality) as the rest of us? How about the politicians belonging to the political party you dislike most? 

Peace activist Miki Kashtan (also a White woman) explains in a still unpublished book:
 Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Transforming the Legacy of Separation into a Future of Collaboration(link is external)
 

“If we take seriously the radical idea that all human beings are indeed human, it becomes immediately clear that defeating others can only reproduce oppression.

Empathy for the oppressor, on the other hand, leads to recognition of the full humanity of all, and to an appreciation of the depth of the tragedy that has led some to act in harmful ways.

The tragedy in question is the disconnection from our own source of human striving and of beauty. Demonizing “the enemy” leaves no real grounds for hope. It is only a deep understanding that the advantages of privilege come with a package of disadvantages, and that to become an oppressor we must first have been “