1. There is a continuum of the white experience as it pertains to race.  At one end of the continuum are people with white, Black, and POC friends, who feel comfortable discussing a variety of race issues, and are comfortable in their own skin.  
  2. At the other end of the continuum are people who profess not to be racist but actively engage in racist activities. And, in fairness, some white people are self-proclaimed racists. If you are a self-proclaimed racist fuck off – racist people suck.

What I find is that most white people are somewhere in the middle. They recognize that racism exists, but struggle to see how they fit into the narrative. Race conversations tend to make them squeamish, but they still want to learn.

  1. Here is my thought, wherever you are on that continuum, is the right place for you right now.  This is similar to stepping on a scale before you start a weight loss program. The actual number – the starting place – doesn’t matter very much. What matters most is the commitment to start.
  2. This part of the website isn’t about judging you, but you need to be open to the fact that there are things you can learn.  And as you learn, you may find some things about yourself that make you uncomfortable.
  3. It’s okay to be uncomfortable once in a while and conversations about race, particularly when they are done with any depth, tend to make people uncomfortable. We white people don’t think about these things very often, and that can make us uncomfortable too. So, my advice is to embrace the discomfort, don’t get defensive, and just be open to learning.
  4. As you learn more, you may find that there are things that you want to change. If that happens, embrace the opportunity to make the changes you feel compelled to make.

So you may be asking yourself, why this website, why this writer, why now—all good questions.

Professionally my company has been conducting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Research for over a decade. There is a lot to learn, there is a lot still to figure out, and I don’t claim to have all the answers.

But I’m not afraid to admit that there are differences between the white experience and the Black experience. The data paint a clear picture of disparity. In my experience, much of the information highlighting differences between whites and Blacks have largely been ignored, but that is starting to change.

Several high-profile events in 2020, including the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmad Aubery, among others, have created a societal wakeup. There is (at least for now) an interest among many white people to look, learn, listen, and try to tackle some of the tough issues around race. I say some of the issues because this is a complex, multi-faceted topic. And it will take more than one solution to “fix it”.

But I think things are different right now. I was in a DE&I action planning workshop this summer, and someone commented that “There hasn’t been this much energy around race since 1965”.

I see this energy in other areas too. Projects involving labor and employment, non-profit outreach, and community growth all of which would have typically ignored the racial findings are now writing this type of analysis and presentation into the original project scope.

I don’t know how long it will last, but for now, there seems to be a sincere interest in understanding race issues.

Also, let me address appropriations. I’m white and this section of the site is generally aimed toward other white people. I’ve learned that the conversation around race changes depending on who’s in the room. Too often, if there are only white people in the room then race conversations stop. I’m trying to change that. However, if you prefer to get your information from a Black or brown person, by all means, do so. I’m not trying to make this about me, nor do I claim experience I don’t have. If you want to use another source, then do.

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