I don't know if your comments will help Dr. Brown, but they sure helped (or are helping) me. As a whilte woman from a priviledges background, I could completely relate to Dr. Brown's messages on vulnerability. I believe that white people of a certain economic status can live their entire lives without confronting their vulnerability -- at least not until facing their death. I think that is why Dr. Brown's message is so powerful to me. Why I loved and appreciated your comments is that it reminded me that not everyone has that same experience. I have a very good friend who is white, but is married to a latino man, and they have three children together. She and her family confront the very things that you talked about in your comments. I know that I have not done a good job of "creating a space" for her to talk about these things with me. Now I finally understand why talking about the racism she and her family face has been so hard for me. Most of the time, when she brings it up, I just want the conversation to get over quickly -- or I discount the severity of what she is saying in my head. I know she senses this and, frankly, has probably given up on talking with me about the subject. Your comments have helped me to understand why I have such a problem with fully "going there" with her. It is exactly as you said -- the inability to handle the guilt and shame of white privilege, to accept that my own complicity in benefiting from that privilege, to accept that society is as unjust and as painful for people of color as they say it is. I would add that, for me, it is also the fear of losing the benefit or status of white privilege. What would happen to me without this shield of protection? I don't know where this fear of losing status exactly fits in, but I know that it is affecting me some how. So I just wanted to thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I don't know if I will have the courage to actually go in that direction, but at least now I'll know why I'm not going there.
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