This post has been a long time coming. I was recently given the push to write this. Let me start with this. I have the issue of speaking when I have no idea what I am talking about. In 2015 I jumped into a conversation I had no business being a part of. I stuck my nose in a conversation about race where I was completely out of my league. I hadn’t done any of the work of reading about race and the horrible history of the United States. Being blind to the past and being equally blind at the time of this encounter I entered an arena I did not belong.
My actions perpetuated white supremacy and were racist. The worst part was I vividly remember I was on the right side of this argument. If you want to read exactly what happened here is the blog that is still up on my site showing just how brutally wrong I was. Instead of being able to see that I was creating more of a problem I believed I was helping someone out. My intention matters little when the impact harms people.
While I am proud of where my learning journey has taken me the truth is I have harmed multiple Black Women and other People of Color during this process. This harm is well known to me and I never have stepped up to publicly recognize and repair the harm that I have done. This is because of the shame that I felt once I realized just how much my gender (male) and race (white) played a role in my identity and belief that I was an expert on everything and knew better than everyone else. I have no excuses for my actions.
I would like to take the time now to openly apologize to these people:
Rafranz Davis. I was in the book chat with Rafranz when she published her book and was still stuck on the individual level of racism and had no knowledge about systemic racism. I said many things that were racist and white supremacist. I also attempted to document an interaction we had to show why talking about race on Twitter was a bad idea. This was shady. I apologize for my actions.
Sarah Thomas. I am in many Voxer groups with her and I have said some really stupid things about race and gender. I am sorry for my words.
Melinda Anderson. I jumped in a conversation I didn’t belong in and perpetuated white supremacy and male privilege. I was wrong. I regret my decision to go in a space I didn’t belong.
Shana White. I have not respected your knowledge nor time on Twitter. We have had conversations where I was unwilling to take responsibility for my actions. This was completely my fault for not realizing and accepting the truths that you were telling me. I ask for your forgiveness.
Christina Torres. I commented on your blog and told you the title was wrong. This was the stupidest thing I have ever done. What right did I have to tell you what word your title should have been? This was arrogant and showed just how big my ego was. Please accept my apology.
JLV. You tried to show me how my actions were harmful and I turned and ran back to white safety. I apologize for not listening to you when you gave me your time and energy.
The last person that really sticks out to me is Rusul Alrubail. I harmed you multiple times and multiple ways. I didn’t see where race, religion, and gender were issues in my responses to your tweets. I never understood every time just how harmful my actions were. The more I study and learn the worse I feel. I was really sad when my actions ruined the trust we had. I respect you and sincerely wish I was more aware of my racism when we would converse. I’m truly sorry I harmed you.
Trust is hard to earn and easily broken. I know that most of the relationships are broken beyond repair. I am finally stepping up to acknowledge my actions and attempt to repair the harm. Every day I attempt to get better and grow. This was something I should not have put off for as long as I did.
I would like to finish with thanking Melinda Anderson for making me take ownership of my actions.