Thank you for your thoughtful words. After having discussions about race and ethnicity for almost 4 decades, I can truly appreciate your receptiveness and willingness to listen. I would estimate that approx 95% of the reactions I have received since the ‘80’s have been defensive, a posture which I receive as a way to avoid discussing one’s racial advantage, so I do not take your open response for granted.
Your efforts are significant. I applaud them.
I mean to focus on psychology in my long-winded response even while saying it’s extremely important to act in a pragmatic fashion. I’ve noticed in all settings where I have had these discussions that ‘nice’ white people seem to think they need to give something ‘up.’ To me, this is a form of psychology meant to maintain the current status quo by allowing for a self-perception that whites need to sacrifice what is theirs in order to create a just society.
History tells us that this is not the case. In fact, high-grade long-standing privilege has created a false dominance: there are many whites in these higher level positions because they have grossly and minutely favored each other for centuries, thereby eliminating or significantly truncating any opportunity for a wide range of others.
So, the appropriate psychological response — I believe this is the internal work white people need to do with themselves and with each other — should acknowledge history and the way it impacts us not just from a pragmatic POV or just a psychological one, but both. In my opinion, white people should be aware of moving immediately to an internal assertion of some sort of superiority — that is, in order for POC to succeed, we whites must give up something — and perceive this as a correction of supremacy, not as a favor.
I can give you a great example of how objective statistics are framed, through this psychology, as ‘quota’ — that is, how real facts, due to a psychological economy which operates to deny privilege — are framed as a ‘favor’ by the very people who’ve already enjoyed centuries of actual favoritism. But this comment is already so long….
Again, thank you for your non-defensive, rarely encountered openness.