On the off chance you end up having the time and energy to sift through all these comments and you end up reading this one: I'm a white lady, and I hear you, and I want to encourage you to keep writing your truth. In the past 5-10 years of simply listening to Black people speak about how they are feeling (and taking enormous risk in doing so), I've done my best to process and learn. What I've discovered is that, first, everything you've said about whiteness is true. Second, part of my own job as a person who's been assimilated into whiteness is to understand how false and limiting it is, and to begin developing an identity outside of it. That's the personal/individual part of my own journey. Lastly, and most important and most relevant to this article, there is literally nothing I can do to take myself out of whiteness from the perspective of Black people. Meaning, no matter how safe or trustworthy I think I am, Black people have EVERY REASON to not trust me, and to feel endangered by my very presence in a conversation (whether in person or online). If I want to live in truth, I have to accept that. It's not Black people's job (or it shouldn't be) to make me feel better about myself by ignoring their own instincts developed over lifetimes. So thank you for being brave and speaking your truth, and I hope you are able to keep doing so. I'm not sure where we'll all end up, but I want to live in a world where truth matters, where Black people can be safe speaking their truth. So I will do my best to encourage that as often as I can.

Erin Michelle is a book coach, writer, & editor. erinwritesmagic.com

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