From The Confessional: Thoughts About Racism In America

by Karen Johnson
Thoughts About Racism In America
JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty

Many white Americans are waking up for the first time and seeing, and also hopefully empathizing, with what people of color have endured for centuries. The constant news coverage and social media chatter about the nationwide protests in response to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other unarmed black people killed by white law enforcement mean that this conversation cannot be escaped.

Nor should it.

And that means white folks are finally realizing their own racial bias and their own white privilege. It means the plight of black Americans is finally, truthfully, being seen and acknowledged. That people of color often live in a different America than those with whiter skin. That the residual pain of oppression from the past few centuries combined with the blatant racism that still seeps through society today, in 2020, can now be felt or at least seen by more Americans who maybe didn’t recognize it before.

Our Scary Mommy confessional is a place to tell our truths, and we appreciate the openness of our readers of color as well as our white readers who are doing just that in this tumultuous time of racial tension in America. It’s imperative to share our stories, listen to one another, and vow to join hands in our united fight against racism. It’s imperative that we all see our role and responsibilities in the healing of our broken country.

I am a 44 y.o Black woman. I am terrified for my family and friends. I am exhausted at just trying to live. That's it, I just want to be free to live and move about just like everyone else. I don't want special treatment. I just want to live.

Confessional #25783373

I am a tired black mom. Tired of so many things. I'm tired of the "me-tooism" of every other race in America. No other group, not the Irish, not Latinos, not Asians, no one was forcibly brought here as slaves. I appreciate allies, but we are ALONE.

Confessional #25783487

Listen when a person of color speaks. Absorb the information, sit with them in their pain, and then vow to take action in your allyship. This country belongs to all of us.

I am married to a white cop and I support BLM. Fellow police wives are appalled. IDGAF. There can never be peace if part of society isn’t being heard and seen! Shame on LEO families that ignore these cries for help and justice. Let’s heal this nation

Confessional #25783458

I'm embarrassed to be white. I'm utterly disgusted by what white people have done and are still doing. It's beyond disgusting.

Confessional #25783484

White people getting disgusted by other white people might finally make some change.

I am an indigenous person of color in a US colony that has endured racist US policies and exploitation of our people, land, and natural resources. I have some small pleasure in watching America come apart at the seams. Karma is a bitch.

Confessional #25783452

As a black white collar professional, it is a form of racism when educators/parents in my white suburb make a bigger deal about my children's accomplishments than white children's same accomplishments. It's patronizing and a form of tokenism.

Confessional #25783369

I am black and work for a mostly black school district under the poverty line. I can't believe white staff who comment on kids at the border. We have never once served fresh food in our schools. And we literally fucking handcuff 8 year olds regularly.

Confessional #25760643

These are the realities for people of color. Their lives, their children’s lives, their children’s school experiences. If it sounds hard to believe, start there, by believing them.

I am so sad and angry today. I am really sick and tired of hearing of black men being murdered by police officers. Which part of serve & protect did you misunderstand?!

Confessional #25782538

My white partner says tone deaf borderline racist comments all of the time. I am black and our kids are mixed race. It’s been years of trying to educate him. How did I get here?

Confessional #25783362

It’s so hard not being able to talk with DH about the protests and riots. He is police in a small town and will not open his mind to see all the nuance and complexity in the situation. Just that protesters are bad

Confessional #25783211

It’s frustrating to be around people who refuse to address this problem. Don’t give up.

My son is half black. I am thankful everyday that he can pass for white. I am thankful, and because of that, I feel so much shame. Not for my race but for my country.

Confessional #25783125

I am white, often mistaken for “ethnic in the summer. H is Black, technically mixed. Not a day goes by that I’m not thankful my boys are light enough to pass as white; I know a day will come when their lives depend on it.”

Confessional #25779722

These types of confessions might be hard to hear, but we need to listen.

Ugh I just found out my brother's girlfriend is racist. I know the rest of my family is racist and would never openly admit it, but I have gotten into fights with them. I was too shocked to say anything. I don't think she knows my oldest is half black.

Confessional #25781579

My friend talks a good game about Black History Month and supporting black people, but she’s terrified of actual black people in stores, in my non-lily-white neighborhood, etc.

Confessional #25770284

Cracks me the fuck up that my liberal friend (I'm also liberal) is terrified of black neighborhoods and literally clutches her purse any time she sees a black person. I live in a diverse neighborhood, and she admits it scares her.

Confessional #25769905

This is not okay. We can’t let our friends and family continue with racist behavior and think they get a pass. Call. Them. Out.

I've been participating in the Black Lives Matter protests in secret cuz my H is a racist. I'm so worried about being arrested or on the news and having to answer to him, but I'm willing to risk my happiness in order to stand up for injustice.

Confessional #6791303

I am deeply disturbed by my husband’s “whiteaboutism.”

Confessional #25783111

I’m terrified to post the truth about how I feel about white people right now without getting blasted.

Confessional #25783335

Say something. Say something. Say something. Keep using your voice. If you see or hear something racist, address it. White folks, please listen to voices of color. Hear them when they tell you the truths of their lives. Try to avoid making their story about you, because it’s not. It’s theirs. Then let your story be about how you acknowledged the impact of white privilege and stood up to racism to make our country stronger and unified in its fight for equality.