I have blind spots.
I will always have blind spots.
I will always wish that I didn't, and that wish is a blind spot, because I have the privilege of wishing for total healing in my own lifetime, for myself and for everyone, while others have never imagined to wish for such a thing and yet dream more creatively for that reason.
I’m trying to listen more.
I still talk. A lot.
My whiteness is not one thing, though I forget this and wish it were so at the same time. My ability to imagine that my whiteness could be one thing, one simple concern to sort, is my white privilege.
Imagining that I should get to tell my white parts what to do and how to be better, as though these are discrete, bad parts of me, is both my white privilege for believing satisfactorily that I am capable of curing my badness, and a confusing, uncomfortable, and painful process through which my whiteness is also a striving to be self-reflective, responsible, and shifting and transforming.
My whiteness expects a lot of me, fast, while not expecting that much at the same time, and that is also both my white privilege in needing to be done already, and my white training and untraining and retraining grappling with expectations of all sizes all at the same time, and the one thing I can almost surely expect from my whiteness is that it will continue to be a process of damage and repair, ongoing self-compassion and willful change, lifelong energy spent toward self-witness and toward fighting racism — over and over and over again.
My Judaism doesn’t cancel out my whiteness. When I was younger I wished it did in conscious and unconscious ways. Admitting this does not relieve me of my whiteness either and involves yet other blind spots. And yet, my whiteness is also Jewish. And I am just starting to witness this overlay. Truly, the concept itself of being white and Jewish together is far at the beginning of my understanding and will take much more thought and effort to learn about.
Being genderqueer does not make me less white either.
I’m a white person who gets angry about people assuming that they understand my gender.
I have the privilege of getting angry about being misgendered, and I have the privilege of being treated like a white woman. As recently as last year I was let off with a warning going 45mph in a 25mph speed zone.
I get angry about oppression while lounging on a king-sized bed.
My anger is expressed in a white body.
My anger lives in a mind and body that grew up white with all the messages given to white people, including the badness of some anger and the goodness of other anger.
My whiteness and my anger are treated as standard. They are not standard, but they are centered and privileged. My anger is white. My anger is not neutral or spiritual without also being white. And Jewish. And genderqueer. And safe from hunger.
I am white.
I am practicing with my reactivity. I'm practicing with equanimity and compassion and collective care. I'm practicing with joy. I'm practicing with generosity and gratitude. It's not easy and it's both a privilege and part of resiliencies that I will never imagine. I am engaging with my reactivity in hopes of supporting positive change. I am practicing welcoming reactions and responses to me. It makes my heart burn, and I am engaging that fire with witness.
My whiteness is ignorant, messy, dominating, educated, learning, compassionate, multidimensional, flat, excessive, loud, white, yearning, changing, hopeful, needy, impudent, and genuinely and naively heartfelt, all at the same time. For the rest of my life.
What are you witnessing about your identity?