Rural White Folks Need to Speak Out against Racism in our Communities

Thank you for such a beautifully written and elegant commentary. I have been struggling to find ways to more fully understand my own white privilege and I continue to seek ways to break its hold, to become more humble, open, accepting, aware, and conscientious of what it means to be a racist. My cultural DNA dictates that I am, in fact, a racist, but how it gets expressed in my life is up to me. I, too, live in a more rural state (VT), bI’ve also been told that disagreeing that something is a racist microaggression is another curse of white privilege. but what is happening here is, in some ways perhaps, more insidious. My town is all about “Tolerance” (gadz, I hate that word). Employers have their workshop on tolerance, our schools have 0 tolerance rules, etc., and yet the undercurrent is dragging everyone out into the deepest of depths and drowning us all in racism. It’s microaggressive racism. Anyway, all I know for sure is that a)White people cannot lead this movement, we must follow and learn and b)White people must talk and talk and talk about it, no just with other white people, but with people of color.

COUNTRY QUEERS : a multimedia oral history project documenting the diverse experiences of rural and small town LGBTQIA folks in the U.S.A.

December 13, 2014

If you are a white person living in a rural and predominantly white mountain community today, on this National Day of Resistance, you may be confused about how best to participate in the Black Lives Matter movement.  I have no answers, I have a lot of questions, and I know that it is inappropriate for white folks to take up public space processing our place in this movement.  However, what is also inappropriate and outright dangerous is for white folks in rural places to disengage completely from this movement and from conversations about racism and white supremacy in our communities, or to only engage in these conversations when it is a “hot topic” in the news.  I am not writing this as any kind of expert.  I am not writing this as someone who has been doing a good job of being engaged and active.  I am…

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