Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Maybe I'm just getting old...

I've been frustrated on several fronts lately when discussions of racism have come up and how it is that white people should be an "ally" to people of color. Some of the discussions have left me feeling like my own best intentions may be wrong if I act from them, simply because I am a white woman, especially if I make a criticism or a protest.

I don't want to go into specific details of each of the instances. And I suppose that this leaves me with little specifics to go into.

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to listen to what I've already learned - like how I can really never understand what it's like to come from a culture that was robbed of its land and its people systematically exterminated, but I may also have some issues about the growth of corporate gambling that I can address. Or like how I may not have a full understanding of Islam or Hinduism, but I can protest the stoning of women for adultery or the practice of living wives being thrown onto the burning pyre of their dead husband.

I can also have concerns about the growth of gangs in poor neighborhoods, while still having a historical and cultural perspective on poverty and race.

I am a white woman. I ain't perfect...and I'm sorry, but I don't strive to be. Whether that leaves me as less than an "ally" I don't know. Maybe it makes me more of one.


Aravis said...

I wrote a really long response, but in the end it comes down to:

This aggravates me, too.

Cody Bones said...

As a middle aged white conservative male, no one seems to want my opinion as it's automatically assumed what I will think. I guess it takes me off the hook though