I Don’t Understand Racism

Note To My White Self

Note to my white self…

You don’t understand racism.

I know you’re trying and that’s admirable. Empathy is a noble attribute.  When thousands of people in a society want to understand something, change happens.  You saw this dynamic when mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters wanted to understand the lives of their gay and lesbian children or siblings.  This societal empathy brought about the rapid acceptance of same sex marriage and the normalization of homosexuality.  That’s all good.

Unfortunately, when it comes to racism, empathy and change are more difficult. Too few white people have spouses, children, or siblings who are people of color.  Most don’t even have people of color as friends.  If they did, racism might be less of a problem in America.  It’s hard to hate the people you love.   Racism would become personal rather than an abstraction.  That’s what happened to you.  Think about how having a…

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