Atleast H.
Patrick Akhuem-o'khan

I try.

But I am still a racist.

I am 36 years old. I was educated in the US. I am a frog in boiling water. I have held views in the past that I am not proud of.

I have mistakenly believed that the inside of me has anything to do with racism. I have wanted to cling to that belief — that what *I* define as oppression is *the* definition — the one that should be “of record.”

When the truth of the matter is, the survivors of the oppression are in a much better position to define it than the perpetrators. We know what happens when perpetrators get to define the terms.

“Slavery” becomes about “states rights” and “murder” is justifiable under a lie of “fear.”

That’s MY problem. As a person with only fractions of color on the outside — I have condoned my own privilege at the expense of others.

Am I awake?

I don’t know. I think I am sometimes. Then someone shows me something like that page in the encyclopedia and I write something in response of it trying to be supportive.

On the road to hell, driven by my intent, I left out an important piece of information. Was it done on purpose?


Ah, but does it matter?


Because it lends credibility to white washing things — AND — it lacks empathy.

I need to say what I mean and mean what I say. I will not give myself a “pass” for ignorance even if it is well-intended. Because when I don’t give others that pass, that makes me a hypocrite.

I’m not lulling myself into believing I have nothing left to learn. That I’m “woke” enough. And/or that I could never say or do something aiding white supremacy. That would be very foolish of me and it goes against my stand and purpose.

You are my brother and I owe it to you to do better.

So I will.

And I won’t be perfect, but I will right my wrongs as my awareness is heightened.

Thank you for being so gracious and patient with me, if I were in your shoes, I hope I would be half as kind as you.