I had to take a break from this training to process it and live it for a bit, and now I'm back. I'm glad I took that short break because I've been involved in some discussions that at the time I thought were the staunch work of allyship, but now I realize were quite toxic. I am trying to reach out to colleagues of color to deepen relationships and undrstanding, and I have one colleague who sends me occasional videos and links through text. I watch them, and they are so filled with pain and anger that it's hard to process them, but I watch them and I think about what he wants me to see from it. Then, I struggle to come up with how to respond. After such an exchange, I find myself on social media screaming at some random white person who posts about All Lives Matter or some other trigger phrase, and I see how my guilt at the material my colleague is sending me causes me to try to redeem myself by lashing out at someone else who is so much more obviously racist than I am. It moves the cause exactly nowhere and rather entrenches people in their own beliefs even more.
I want so much to be part of the solution, so I'm focusing on how I can be a calm, reflective, and supportive conversationalist in this dialog. It's not exactly working out great right now, as most white folks I talk to are eager to categorize me politically and delete or block me from discussion. However, it's a start. I'm looking forward to learning more tools to combat the urge to call out instead of call in.