I believe that in most circumstances, doing race work in an integrated setting is harmful. This is not a popular belief, especially among white people. I have been challenged on this time and again, and I keep showing up for these conversations in mixed-race settings and breaking down from the pain of it all. I open myself up to stories about racist family members, or admissions from former white supremacists. Why do I need to hear this? The fact that racism exists is not a surprise to me. That it infiltrates my very own community is obvious. I do not need to hear more stories about it. Are these admonitions made in hopes of atonement? It is not mine to give.
The only thing I want to hear from white people about race is, I’m sorry. I didn’t see. I didn’t listen. I’m working to see and listen now.