I understand what’s being said. I am white and have black friend that I am close with. There is a root to her struggle I will never understand unless it comes to my shores. There is an oppression that I can’t understand. At a very young age I was taught what white meant and what black meant, that picture was painted for me years ago and I abhor that teaching, systematic teachings on “white is better than black” without anyone ever saying it that way. Being in my late 40's I am responsible for my own part, what i allowed myself to hold onto. It wasn’t until I had desired to understand my friend that I, If this makes sense, was awakened to who I was and all I had been taught and the more I learn the more I understand our friendship may never really go beyond a certain point because there is a root that I’m not able to grasp. If white people where to be completely honest we would tell you,
1-we have ignored racism both individual and systematic, placed it on a shelf and hope it all goes away, but it doesn’t go away, only returns at a later date.
2-white guilt is wrong and means nothing. Helps nothing and resolves nothing. We can say we are sorry and yet stand by and allow racism to continue on the streets and inner cities, tolerate it and act as if it isn’t happening. White guilt is the problem.
3-saying “but I have black friends” means absolutely nothing and our tolerance shows that. I have black friends but that doesn’t mean I understand, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t fall to self preservation, god knows I would hope not and I would hope that growing up in a town with a dark history I would stand today as I did then.
4-systematic racism exists. I had written an article that mentions the realties and the bashing, denial came from white men. I was so taken back by the anger, by the denial that I wrote a piece called “masks falling off” and stated “we can ask how did we get here? I see now, we have always been this. We have become the disease we have ignored.” None of this goes away because none of this was dealt with and I am no less guilty.
5-I’ll end here and sorry this is so long, and so winded.
To those white and trying to learn and understand “black skin white masks by frantz fanon” is a great read. “James Baldwin, not my country” is another.