Apprehension in Regards to Discussions of Racism and Stereotypes

I’m a white middle class male raised in a conservative household. I’ve said and done things inadvertently which have been rude, insensitive, or even downright racist. I’ve never intended them as such, but they’ve happened. In regards to this week’s discussion topic, I’m really rather nervous to discuss it. This whole subject is full of ways to get tangled up and say the wrong thing. And what right do I have to pretend to know the struggles of an oppressed group? No matter how much I research, read, watch, listen, I’m never going to understand a life of denied opportunities and dual consciousness. If I ever try, I feel as though I’m coming off as again rude, or holier-than-thou, or white-hero-of-the-oppressed. I can try to sympathize, but I can neverĀ empathize, not really. To pretend to, in my opinion, is to delude myself.

I don’t intend to speak for anyone else with this. If you think you can understand better than I can, wonderful, and look forward to hearing your thoughts. These are simply my own thoughts and apprehensions after years of inadvertently supporting the racist structure of this country and struggling to work my way out of that framework.

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