Dear Pissed-Off White People and the Black and Brown People Who Love Them
Son of Baldwin

Ok all the things you say are sort of right but also totally wrong. Your error is in thinking there is some thing call the “white person.” There are white people (plural) and they are all different.

Some behave just as you say, and others behave exactly the opposite and some are a sort of mix. If one white person behaves in a gross way, does that make me guilty?

Well if I did nothing I would be guilty.

But what if I acted in many ways to live contrary to the way those people did. If I welcomed and befriended people of colour. If I aligned myself with organisations that sought to counter racism and supported them. If I did that not out of some racial guilt, but out of a desire for all people receive justice. If I did not take advantage of white privilege to gain anything for myself. If I worked for an organisation that was specifically founded on an anti-racist constitution that sought to teach others to live in a non-discriminatory way and that at a cost to my financial progress. What if I befriended those of religions other than mine that represent people of colour and stood alongside them.

Would I be guilty then?

If you say yes to that I can’t see that you are being anything but racist yourself.

You might say as a victim of racism you have the right to be racist. That is a counsel of despair. Things can change. Things have changed. They are a long way from perfect. In places it seems like things are going backwards. But in other places there is real change.

Have hope and open you heart to something better.

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