Most of my engagements these days have to be online, since I am mostly housebound due to being in a very high risk demographic. That said, I don't know how equipped I am to take on calm, considered conversations even online that open doors to people who may not be as aware of their own racism. What came up during these videos was some very strong emotion. Bigotry and racism have always been "hot buttons" for me, probably because of my Jewish upbringing and the bigotry and harassment I experienced as a result of being Jewish when I was in school. I know I'll have to scale some of that emotion back when I engage. I consider myself "more or less white," since my ancestors came from Europe, but I also remember that Jews were only recently let into the "white club," and that my mother was barred from sororities in college because she was Jewish. So while I "look white" to most people, I have always felt a little apart. That doesn't mean that I haven't benefitted from white privilege, though, because I know I have and I own that. I also own that I have some biases that I wish I didn't have. I have to work on myself, even after some sixty years of awareness of the problem (I turned 70 this year).
When I was still working, I was an elementary school teacher in some very diverse communities, and was very sensitive toward any racial/ethnic kind of slur or exclusion among my students. I was also very aware of the number of teachers that were white women. Yes, I had a couple of Black colleagues over the years, a few Asians, and an Iranian, but the staffs in my district were probably 90% white and 90% women, despite the student population being probably about 50% or less white. I remember being at a meeting where a controversial book about a Black child was being discussed. The teachers were making a lot of comments and judgments about it, and about what Black women might think of it. I noticed that apart from one East Asian woman, we were all 100% white, and I pointed it out to the group, questioning whether our judgment on such a book had much validity. I was pretty much ignored, which I suppose was to be expected, but it made an impression on me. That brings me to the next thing I felt: We as white people don't listen to or give validity to the voices of non-white people nearly enough. We do a lot of 'yes but' and a lot of 'if only they' instead of listening. One of the things Black people have been saying lately is simply "Stop killing us." And then we hear the trope about black on black crime, and that white people get killed by police sometimes, too, and that the police are always under attack, blah blah. I want to say to those people, "SHUT UP AND LISTEN." Of course, that wouldn't do much good, to yell, would it? So that's what I need to learn: How do I communicate these things without going off the deep end? I may be old, but I still have room and ability to learn.