My thoughts about white exceptionalism, the belief that I am “one of the good ones”, and that I am not in need of doing work on the subject of race has never occurred to me I know I need to do better. However, when I told my mother that I was going to take this training because I needed better tools to bring up the subject and act upon and say something in situations of racism, her response was "you don't need that, your not racist." And I thought to myself how white of her to say considering she is racist herself and that I struggle with the issues of race and talking to other white people about it because I've seen those discussions get ugly especially when trying to have it with someone you don't know and have no foundation of a relationship with. Even with my mother, trying to explain the importance of this training and why I should be taking it was a very difficult and strained conversation.
I can relate and struggle with white guilt, the individual or collective guilt felt by some white people for ways in which they have perpetuated the status quo, causing harm to ethnic minorities and shame. I think I've never felt confident enough to push the issue and though I'm a pretty vocal individual I, also, do dislike being labeled the "angry white women." and yes they are correct that I'm angry about a lot of things I also feel guilty on the issues of race because I don't know how to make it better. So I reach out to my friends of color, I make sure they are okay, I offer to be white shields at protests and I take this training and I have posed questions like "why say that joke at the expense of someone of color or at the expense of a women or whomever?" but it just doesn't feel like enough because the change needs to happen now, right now. And I feel guilty that I wasn't educated enough to start this work earlier and I'm still not always courageous enough to say something.
So I guess the above also speaks to my feelings of white shame, the feeling white people might have when they look back at the past and recognize all the harm that has been done for whiteness and by white people to others, because I have harmed by not standing up for and speaking up more and earlier then now.