I could definitely identify with fellow white thoughts on race. Especially many of the words used to describe, such as "don't think about it, part of the culture, privilege, etc." I appreciated the one interviewee who stated that they "might be racist and haven't thought of themselves like that, but maybe they are." That is how I identify......I have unconscious bias and preferences that are shaped by where I have lived, how I was raised, and how I feel about others. I have never engaged in any active racist thoughts or actions, however, I know that I swim in a sea of racism like all of us do. This was evident in hearing other races perspectives, from Asian to African-American males and females. They live in worlds where they are reminded everyday of their race, where as I walk around all day and are rarely caused to think of my whiteness.
On the flip side, I do spend time being aware, vigilant, and in self-reflection. Even though I read, listen to others, and engage in racial conversations at work, I don't do any of these all the time. Because of my race and the privilege that my being white affords me, I get to turn on and off my "race antenna". I get to choose to bring it out or keep It at home, to listen to it, or not listen.
Through most of my adult life, I honestly have not listened to it. It takes energy, time, and effort, and honestly, I haven't wanted the discomfort.
I know that in order to see, learn, and grown, a certain amount of discomfort and unknown will be there, which I embrace at times, and other times, I choose comfort. Through courses like these and other in-person discussions, I have had to take a hard look at myself and what I thought "a liberal white male" looked like and what I actually see in the mirror.......it's not easy but then nothing worthwhile ever is.....that is how I view this journey.