Some people who visit our website are offended by it – almost always by the contents of the White People pages. Why do we have a separate section for whites? Do we think we’re better or wiser than other white people? Do we mistrust and hate white people, including ourselves? Are we being unfair to white people? Is it racist to single out white people for criticism?
The White People pages of this website were created by white people, for white people, with the intent of helping them with the journey which the white members of BRJA have begun. The white members of BRJA have struggled personally with the legacy of our racial history, to try to learn the whole story, to try to understand it, to try to reconcile the ugly with our perception of ourselves as good people.
This is not an easy journey and almost all of us started out, above all else, as defensive – defending our actions, defending our assumptions, defending our innocence, defending our self-image – in the face of an undisputed history of violence and oppression that we ourselves did not create. Many of us have no historical or genealogical link to the politicians who inscribed chattel slavery on the legal books, to the individuals who enslaved others for profit, or even to the individuals who fought against it.
Yet it is still the history of “our people.” We’re all familiar with and proud of the history of “our people” that is taught in history classes - the wars we’ve won, the democracy we created, the wealth we have generated. And we all know that the “we” in that context are white people. (Otherwise, what would be the point of Black History Month.) So we all agree that we have a common history and legacy, we just don’t agree on how much of it we want to talk about.
The White People pages are intended to facilitate a fuller conversation. If we seem to be hard on white people, we are also being hard on ourselves. But we do so with compassion and love. We suspect that many people of color might say we are not hard enough. The past is past and we cannot change it, but we can acknowledge it, the whole of it, and grapple with what it means for racial equity today. We are trying to help white people take responsibility for their knowing or unknowing complicity with a system of inequity. People of color may have other work to do, and we try to address that in other spaces.
For example, most of the behaviors on the “29 Stupid Things..” list are things that most of the white members of BRJA did or at least didn’t see any problem with in the past, but came to realize had a negative impact on people of color that was invisible to us. The list was written as our acknowledgment of how we have all unknowingly contributed to another’s oppression.
If you view the “29 Stupid Things” article from the perspective of a “level playing field,” then of course you might conclude that this article which calls out a single group, Caucasians, is racist.  But in the U.S., whites — because of a history that advantaged them as a group while disadvantaging other racial groups because they were not white — bring a weight and a power to the impact of our doing the “29 Stupid Things” that African Americans and other people of color don’t and can’t.
We hope that you will read our other web pages with this historical and societal context in mind.

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