To preface this, I am white- just to let you know if you don’t know me.
And where I was born and raised (Hanover and Richmond Virginia) the issue of racism is not dealt with particularly well. When I went to college in Massachusetts I found myself very out of my element. I did not want to be a racist, but back in Virginia had never encountered anyone challenging me on issues of race, privilege, appropriation, prejudice etc.
I had a hard time learning to deal with being called out on my behavior. I had a hard time coming to understand the difference between racism and prejudice. I was very difficult and I’m sure seriously upset and traumatized and angered people who were fighting racism and privilege. I’m sorry for any tears, sleepless nights etc. that my insensitivity contributed to. I’m sorry it takes me being in your shoes to be able to even begin to understand the shit you have to deal with.
Now that I am going through the ordeal that is trying to explain to people what racism and prejudice are and are not etc., I have a serious appreciation for how much upset and strife I no doubt caused everyone who called me out in the past. I wish there was a better way to let everyone know how sorry I am for being so ignorant/resistant/defensive.
I am trying to not be so ignorant/resistant/defensive. I think working on privilege and race are life long tasks, so I am sure I am going to be making more mistakes. I want to try not to, but I also want to try to be open to criticism and to avoid getting defensive. Please do call me out, preferably in a non-attack manner. Genuine attempts to call me out will be met with a ready listener.