Thank you for explaining why you write Black (though you didn’t explain why “white” is the appropriate opposite, but okay). You commented that I “seem angry”, and that’s probably true: I’m infuriated by inequity. To you, Black is a statement of pride, which I totally get. But can you admit that “white” can be seen as a microaggression when repeated in the same article?

I’ll be the first to admit that I am ignorant with regard to racial issues. I want to learn, but I am frequently thwarted by people who expect me to know and respect their sensitivities yet refuse to explain them. I understand that it likely gets very annoying to have to keep telling people the same things over and over. I won’t pretend that I know what that’s like.

But in your article “Diversity and inclusion means creating a place where everyone belongs”, you write

A good diversity and inclusion person creates educational tools that will support your inclusion policy and teach everyone in your organization so they understand the goals of this new work environment. Those tools should clearly explain what diversity and inclusion means for everyone.

Read that last line you wrote. You state that, as a person studying (in your own words) “diversity and inclusion” you should be creating tools that should CLEARLY EXPLAIN WHAT DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MEANS FOR EVERYONE. You haven’t done that. You still haven’t addressed my questions concerning how I’m supposed to know whether a person identifies as Black or as something else. I’m sure I needn’t tell you that there are people who identify as Black who aren’t of African descent. I’m sure you also know that there are people of mixed race who may, or may not, identify as Black.

Is it racist to ask people about their ethnicity? You don’t like white peoples’ assumptions about race? Tell us what we should do when we ask you.

Do I sound angry? I’m truly sorry. It is not my desire to offend you. But I am going to call you out when your convictions change from one article to another, or when you use your own anger about racism against someone who is asking you for help.

I want to learn. I want to understand. I am asking.

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

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