Being someone who does identify as an ally and advocate, it is important for me to address white exceptionalism, guilt, and shame. Unfortunately, I know that I have used the phrase "one of my best friends is black" to defend myself to not appear racist. I know that I am not racist, but I should not use my friend as a way to show that. I would not say that white guilt and white shame are completely wrong, but I think they are also other ways that white people will try to avoid talking about race. It is so easy for white person to hear about the treatment that black people and other people of color face and apologize that it happened and want to move on from the conversation. However, that is not the answer. Simply apologizing and shrugging my shoulders is not going to change how people who do not look like me are treated. I can attended so many trainings, read so many books, and listen to so many stories about racism, but without action, I am just a bystander. I must encourage myself to take action and speak out against things that are racist and I must do what I can to help with the change.