When white men write about white privilege, in particular, write to acknowledge and proclaim their intentions to work beyond it, I read those words. I listen for the authenticity. I screen for sincerity. And often I have a positive response: be it a little green heart or a pair of self-referring arrows known as a retweet. I offer a sign of support, of acknowledgement, of recognition. Why? Some might argue and have argued that the story of the white guy who finally “sees the light” and wants to now join the fight to end racism is just that, another story. And those guys get all the attention, credit, pats on the back anyway, so why reinforce the cycle?
The reason why is that this movement away from internalized habits of mind which form the foundation of racism will take all of us and all of the courage, perseverance and presence we can imagine to reverse the effects of a societal affliction that stands at the core of being American, whether we are willing to admit it or not. So I need to lift up voices which speak out against racism and white privilege from people of all shades. We need to mutually sustain each other on this journey or else we are all lost. In my opinion, we can’t afford not to support and engage each other. So thank you, Shawn. In stepping forward and stepping up, I step with you. I’m glad you’re here.