How I Talk to White People About Racism
Clay Rivers

Wonderful story. I followed you on the strength of your voice alone. I like your style.

I’ve been struggling with how to call out other white people — specifically, those who voted for Trump — for what they have done, and the chained hatred they have unleashed upon us all. (I say ‘us,’ even though I’m a straight white guy, because I live with autism and my closest friends are all LGBT.) Some of my own family voted for that deranged son of a Klansman, ostensibly for non-racist reasons, they say, but the feeling of betrayal burns me all the same. I have channeled that sense of betrayal into anger, and that anger into shared writing here on Medium.

In my writing, I don’t worry about making them angry, or uncomfortable, or distressed at what they have done. I want them to feel the weight of their sins. And I’m perfectly happy to let them hate me for it.

But I do worry that I may do more harm to the cause than good. I don’t worry so much about seeing the unapologetic Trumpists retrench themselves in their social dominance orientation; many were probably lost causes to begin with. But I worry about the impact my writing will have upon whatever undecided readers are still out there, those who may still be swayed to join our side or theirs over the next two to four years.

I worry about turning more people against persecuted social groups if I fuck this up.

Maybe I worry too much. Maybe we need more bastards like me on the front lines of the meme wars, to make kind-hearted writers like you seem more reasonable by comparison. But I’m always looking for a second opinion. Or even an n-th opinion. Your thoughts, Mr Rivers?

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