Jessica Porten posted:
Here is a list of reasons I have used and heard. I do not believe any of them are good reasons, but here they are.
- Don't want to be ostracized by my peers.
- Don't want to argue with family.
- Don't want to "disrespect" an elder.
- Can sympathize with a racist's views i.e. "I used to feel that way."
- Feels like a waste of time to engage with white folks who don't understand basic sociological principles like systemic racism and colonization.
As far as tangible consequences, the only that I have experienced are the loss of a couple of "friends". I know estrangement from family is quite common for openly anti-racist (and pro-LGBT) whites. I have yet to hear of a white person being fired from their job for being openly anti-racist.
So the consequences pale in comparison to the lived experiences of POC.
Thank you for such a transparent and vulnerable response! Your response reminds me that we have all lost so much in this system of racism. To properly calculate the costs does require a waking up/awareness of the reality around us and the ways racism resides in us.
As to consequences for Black folks: speaking for myself, I tend to take a "firm" rather than "loving" (what ever that means) approach to accountability. For example, I call to task our inability to speak intelligibly about racism as trauma. I write with that tone. My approach is the same regardless of audience. Regardless of public or private space. Black family have suggested I shouldn't be so outspoken..keep it at home. I do realize Why they are concerned. Yet change doesn't reach a desired end at the dinner table among family; not in the way it needs to systemically. Besides, I am able to do both.
Just today, someone who attended an event where I spoke told me it changed her life and I know that can't help but inform how she does her work, socializes, and advocates within her circle of influence/concern. That is a good consequence toward my ultimate goal of racial equity and justice Now, not during the next generation (as promised before and before that too).