If You’re Not Uncomfortable, You’re Not Trying Hard Enough

I’ve missed the Resist Racism blog. A year and a half since the most recent post, and I still think their Racism 101 and We Heard It Before pages are damn near required reading (and if you’ve not read them, please go and do so now).

What I liked about Resist Racism was not what you might expect. It wasn’t like seeing political memes I agreed with on Facebook. It wasn’t reading articles that let me feel good or superior to “the other side”.

Sometimes it was hard to read. It was hard because what they wrote called into question things I did, and the efforts I made. I was frequently found wanting….and that is what made it valuable.

That’s also why I asked Ro if I could quote something smart he said (series of screenshots with links because I really don’t care for the way embeds work from Mastodon yet):

I mean... I just think it's funny how white folks are always like GET OVER IT, IT'S THE INTERNET when we get slurs, insults and abuse thrown at us, but will start a Trent Lott like CRUSADE when one suggests they alter their language and pro-noun usage a bit. LOL, they legit act like it's the end of the world. And don't even get me started on how white people melthdown when they experience 1/100th of the abuse marginalized people endure everyday. It's not funny... but that's why it's funny.
I remember I had a conversation once with Gargron about how he was catching it from people for his decision making, and he mentioned it was unfair, which I agreed with. I also told him if he wants to do some real good, you have to accept it and push through to win people's trust. Saying you're about diversity and inclusion isn't enough. You have to prove it everyday. LOL, he unfollowed me and stopped talking to me after that. White people want DIVERSITY until they actually have work for it.
The think is white folks think if they mimic the posture of diversity and inclusion it will happen on its own, which is false. It takes real work. And you can ask any of my mods who I talk with on a regular basis, that this work will take to you some deep places personally and have you re-evaluate you own personal truths about how you view the world. Those are HARD conversations. And white people in particular exist in a culture that violently resists personal growth at all costs.

I’m not sharing this because I’m different or better than that.

I’m sharing this because I screw this up regularly, and I bet you do too.

I know there are things I don’t understand because I’m a straight white guy. I literally have no way of truly understanding.

Maybe – if I’m lucky – I will have had an experience or two of discrimination, or of being overlooked, or pre-judged, or any of the other crap in the invisible knapsack. It may give me a slight inkling of what it’s like so that I can have some empathy.

But nobody unpacks that damn knapsack if they don’t have to.

So I want to keep welcoming thoughts, ideas, and people who challenge the things I take for granted.

Because I know I’m flawed. I know reality isn’t fair, that it’s got literally aeons of momentum.

But if I keep trying to be less flawed, to make things less fucked up, then maybe that’s a meaning worth living for.

They will know you by your works.

Featured Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash