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He had to learn to acknowledge that not only was he privileged, but he was racist and that would never change as long as he lied to himself about it. And he knew it wasn’t a good look, but it was something he decided to change about himself, because if he couldn’t we were over.
Because if he couldn’t live in the reality of who he was and where he came from while I lived with the constant violence of that legacy, we couldn’t work.
Now I have a different perspective on all that shit. There are conflicts on finances, housework, food, paper towels, you name it and at some point, you will fight about it. What I wasn’t prepared for was how isolated I’d find myself when talking about racism in my relationship.
And by isolated, I mean people wouldn’t really talk about it, regardless of how the conversation was initiated.
It meant understanding that his foundational beliefs are wrong, and he had a responsibility to accept and fight against them. For a few years, in the spirit of compromise, I tolerated the racism of his friends and family but the murders of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castille and their subsequent silence until they found some anti-Black, trash panda parroting white supremacist justifications for the murders of Black people that I lost my shit and told them to fuck off. And, because they are cowards, they tried some passive aggressive work-arounds, like sending me gifts that would force me to acknowledge them by either accepting them or sending them back. I have no idea what happened to them and I don’t give a fuck. Even when his mom was hospitalized for unknown reasons, I told my S. that I would support him from home, but I refused to travel with him to see them.
I seriously wondered if our marriage would survive that incident; he was hurt by my actions, but I can’t trust him to protect me from his family and I refuse to make myself vulnerable to them.
I’m never surprised by white people ducking out on racism conversations.
White people will do the most obnoxiously racist shit while simultaneously screaming, “I’m not racist” at the top of their lungs.
Black people know what it is to have to manage whiteness.I realized that regardless of my parents being the epitome of the “american dream,” two people who were born into poverty, managed to attain higher education, professional careers, home ownership, and college-educated, professional children, his parents saw us as beneath them.He had to understand that not only did he harbor these beliefs, he benefited from them constantly and he took it for granted. And when the time came to publish the first essay about our relationship, he knew that it was an experience that needed to be shared, regardless of how it made him look.In order for me to actually talk with him, I needed to see where his garbage rhetoric was originating.It was mildly fascinating because so much of it was group speak that would disintegrate as soon as any autonomy, individuality, or discussion about resources and policing was introduced.