Looking for answers

I read a wonderful article online by Terrell Jermaine Starr:

“Dear White Facebook Friends: 10 Ways to Get Yourself Blocked by a Black Person Like Me”

 

In his article, Terrell details things that white people do/say that minimize the struggle black people face.  This isn’t the first article I have read like this, and it won’t be the last.  I want to understand more about others and reading this article allows me to continue to expand my mind and understand a point of view that I may not have been exposed to otherwise.

I read these articles, and sometimes they make me feel like I am in quicksand. Wanting to move forward. Unable to go back. Not sure how to do it.

My response:

Amazing article. I can see you poured your heart into it. ❤ Thank you for being such a powerful voice.

I recently blogged on how disgusted I have been by my Caucasian
friends/family’s responses to these stories. I’ve heard things I know
they would never dare say in front of a black person, and they think
that because I am white, somehow it is ok to spew such vitriol to me. I
let them know it isn’t. I am very clear that I have no tolerance for
racist remarks. I have had to block and remove ‘friends’ because I
can’t tolerate them for the same reasons you’ve posted.

I would love to have a discussion with you because in all honesty, sometimes I
feel lost. So many white people I know simply don’t care about black
issues. At the same time, many of the posts I read from black activists
say “We don’t need your white help.” I don’t know what to do. I don’t
know how to help.

What I HAVE done is this:
I have raised my
children to believe every person has value and they are not to ever
treat anyone differently because of how we look on the outside. We are
all the same on the inside.

I have blogged and emailed and typed about how we (white people) need to be more introspective and examine our prejudices.

I want to do more, but articles like yours make me hesitant. How can I be an ally if you don’t want me to speak out? You are right that I cannot possibly know your pain. I don’t think anyone can truly ever understand another’s pain, but we can empathize deeply and want to help.

The issue that I face is that the idea of how white people can help is diverse among the black community. Some welcome white people. Some want no white people. Some want white people to come, but we don’t want you to speak. That feels very divisive to me, and I don’t know what to do. How can we make things better? You are right that there are many white people who want to bury their head and pretend racism doesn’t exist, but there are some who recognize the prevalence of racism and want to help change things. How can we help?

I haven’t received a response yet, but I hope that I will.

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2 thoughts on “Looking for answers

  1. The most important thing about a person, the one thing that makes someone a real person is how much you’re willing to help others and how much you care about others’ pain. Love this post. I believe in humans and animals rights. As aspies, we know what it’s like to be mistreated for things beyond our control and made to feel inferior and second best.

    • I do believe that being as Aspie is part of what makes racism so difficult for me to understand. Why would we treat someone different because their skin color or their culture is different? It makes no sense, yet I see it from NTs everyday. They have this fear of anything that is different from them.

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