Sapphire, that’s a deeply unfortunate response. You have no idea the nature of my upbringing and why this is particularly painful for me, nor do you have access to the family members (I had two families, one was Black) that inform those feelings. So while I can understand and respect your viewpoint, it doesn’t take into account that I had a Black mother growing up, for which I am supremely grateful, and that upbringing makes other’s hate deeply disconcerting. Your use of the word “privileged” is also unfortunate, because of the assumptions inherent in it. I have worked in many aspects of diversity for much of my career largely because of my upbringing. That said, that doesn’t convey the direct and searing feeling that you would experience; but by the same token it is unfair to make such assumptions that I have no clue. I most certainly do. It serves all of us to ask first rather than project our feelings or judgments on others.
You also have no clue how racism affects me. As someone who travels abroad a lot, I run into it when I am a minority in other countries. It is also racism when people of color level accusations at those of us who are white; that kind of interaction is ugly no matter who is slinging it or for what reason. There’s no call for it, not if we’re going to make any reasonable attempt to understand one another.
There’s nothing “easy” about working with people who carry hate and have no compunction about expressing it. But work with them we do, and learn from them we also can, if nothing else than to have some measure of pity for the lives they must live. But I beg to differ with your extremely unfair characterization not only of my life, but also my feelings. I don’t “ignore” anything this person says or does. I wouldn’t make such assumptions about your life, your experience, opinions or any other aspect of your existence because I am not privy to those parts of your being. As you are not privy to mine.
Racism touches a great many parts of my existence if for no other reason than the people I choose to surround myself with, who are all colors, all genders and all backgrounds. Their pain is mine. Again, you cannot possibly know the landscape of either my experience or my feelings, or my world. And to make such comments is as unfair to me as if I dictated to you the nature of your inner world.
I did my best to explain myself, and I fear you chose not to hear me. With that Sapphire, if what I write offends you, then clearly I am not the writer for you to read. I appreciate gracious discourse, but what you wrote doesn’t qualify as that. I genuinely wish you the best, and truly hope that there are other Medium writers who don’t raise your ire.