Dear Black People

Do you want to vent or do you want to get things done?

I appreciate the force of your feelings. It’s justified. But it’s a distraction from business.

I get that it’s hard to speak truthfully without some kind of edge, because the truth is not flattering to whites. And yet, you will benefit if you invest white energy wisely. We have limited time and resources. This may be unfair. But it is still true.

Your anger, frustration, hurt, resentment, bitterness — they’re real. But you are not the first person to feel them. You can make better use of my time if you put that aside.

For one thing, you are not the only black person to need to get that off your chest. Chances are high that anti-racist white people have heard it from somebody else. From lots of somebody elses. There is no bottom to this well. Allowing you to vent is an endless task.

And I want tasks with an end. I want my work to accomplish something.

We anti-racist white people are not your enemy. Well, we’re racists. True. But as white people go we’re as good as it gets. We’re the allies you have if not the ones you want.

Our weaknesses are like yours. We seek praise and avoid being torn down. We do more of things that make us feel good. If we show up for a project, ripping us a new asshole is not a good way to get us to turn out in the future. This may not be right, but it is true.

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