Thank you, Ajah, for your comment on my response to Lecia. I truly appreciate you taking the time to explain the thinking behind this particular practice.

I recognize that even bringing it up I run the risk of sounding like a white supremacist (which I am not) or a racist (which I might be, simply because of my privilege.) I very much want to know where I go wrong in my thinking, but I’m afraid to ask questions and risk abuse from Black and white people alike.

I’m not implying that I feel Lecia was abusive — she certainly wasn’t. But I could sense her anger in her responses every bit as easily as she could sense mine. I have learned that many Black people feel imposed upon when asked to teach the ignorant. I’m sorry, but my fellow whites aren’t the ones to be telling me how to address racism any more than my mom was the appropriate person to teach me about sex.

you expect your Black friends to do the uncompensated labor of explaining their lived experience in a way that you can understand.

I see your point, yet I must ask: Is Google an appropriate source of education? Would you trust my behavior, as learned from Google, to not be offensive? Should I offer you or another Black person $50 to answer my questions?

I don’t want to offend; I really don’t. I don’t know where to turn, or even what questions to ask. I think I’m not “woke”.

Writer, copy/line editor. Writing in science, society, environment, injustice, and mental health. Also personal essays. And some random weirdness.

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