I'm a White guy who doesn't really have a racist past, at least from how I see it. All the things that Blacks say Whites do to offend them are things that I have almost never done. Nevertheless I am trying to learn all of the things I have not paid attention to. I work on my own behavior, and I've joined SURJ and OWMCL, contributed money, and am planning to join more direct activities. I believe in racial equality, and am doing my small part to make it a reality.

I don't expect any kudos for any of this or even thanks. It is something that needs to be done. It is even selfish, because I would like to have a community that I am comfortable in, and that includes peoples of many colors.

But according to so many articles I've been reading lately, Black writers have taken this opportunity to not only excoriate racists who make their lives worse, but to mock and diminish and insult those of us who are trying. There's no such thing as a White ally, Insulting Things White People Do, Yes, All White People are Racists. We get attacked for Performance Activism, and are slammed every time we adopt Black language as cultural expropriators.

If we stay silent, we are guilty of racism by our silence. If we speak out, we are not being sincere, just trying to assuage our own guilt, or even appropriating BLM for our own uses.

I can understand the anger and bitterness in the Black community. No I haven't experienced it, so I don't know it like you. But you have told me, and I have listened, and I empathize. But that is not enough. Unless I actually have brown skin, I don't have the right to say anything.

I suppose we all have to be punished for the sins of our ancestors, and because we have White privilege. But it seems like we are just not welcome in the movement to end racial injustice. If you really don't want my help, just tell me. If you want me on your side, you might want to rethink insulting me when I show up.

Economist and public policy analyst, cyclist and paddler, and incorrigible old coot.

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