Evan, thanks for having a conversation with me. It's difficult to have these, but we need to have them.
I was reading other news about the systemic racism in Canada against First Nations. The author quoted Martin Luther King and it felt like a perfect quote to share:
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
I have to ask myself, when have I done, said, assumed something that would be considerd a micro-agression against a person of colour? Years ago I was furious with BLM for blocking the Toronto Pride parade. It took me a long time (a year, ugh) to get over myself. I have written and spoken about why I felt that way, and what changed for me.
And yes, it hurts when someone say, "you white gay men are all the same."
Now, turn that around and say that to a POC and what do you get? Well, you will get beat up, shamed, blocked, etc. etc. etc.
We MUST swallow our immediate reaction to say, "I agree with what you say, BUT..." <TRANSLATION> I do not agree with what you say.
This is not easy. Sometime we must step back and let people who have been subjugated for hundreds of years and continue to suffer systemic, historic, and legal racism to simply vent.
It may or may not be perfectly accurate. What generalizations have you made lately? That's rhetorical, but I invite you to think on it. I know I have: it is called "judging" and it is also a part of human nature. The thing we all need to do is to be willing to be wrong, to be willing to back down and realize that as white people we have and still do occupy most of the space in North America -- at least in the sense of power.
When we stop defending our "right" (which is not ours and is only privilege) we open up the space for connection, for oneness, for breaking down the barriers of labels and qualities to the single person, that human being, standing in front of you.
Maybe that is my lesson in this as well: put the person first, not the label. When we shift the focus to the human being, we cannot help but see ourselves in them.