Is there a Right Kind of White?

Spoiler alert: The answer is no.

Is there a Right Kind of White?

A quick note: White is capitalized throughout this newsletter. I've learned from Dr. Eve L Ewing that the word White should be capitalized because Whiteness is not the default.

When we ignore the specificity and significance of Whiteness – the things that it is, the things that it does – we contribute to its seeming neutrality and thereby grant it power to maintain its invisibility. - I’m a Black Scholar Who Studies Race. Here’s Why I Capitalize ‘White.’ Dr. Eve L. Ewing

Pocket Observatory only exists because of the close observance of my readers. When you pay for my work, you make my work possible. Thank you so much. You can also support my work with a one-time donation.  Wages for writing! Pennies for my thoughts!

Today I am sharing an interview with community organizer and author, Garrett Bucks. Bucks writes one of my favorite newsletters, The White Pages. He is also the founder of The Barnraisers Project, where participants are trained to organize majority-white communities for racial and social justice. His debut book, The Right Kind of White, came out this week. (Spoiler alert: I love this book!)

The interview is a vulnerable, challenging exchange on whiteness, gender and power. It’s a short, imperfect example of a kind of dialogue more white people need to be having, publicly and privately.

I’ve only learned how to have dialogues like this because of my readers. You each hold me to account, even if you don’t realize it. You give me your attention each time you engage with my work. It’s the honor of my life. And then, grace of graces, some of you support my work financially. You sustain my writing and my writing sustains me. You’ve give me my life, in so many ways. 

And so I wake up most days, wondering how I can fulfill my obligation to you. Each piece of writing is me trying to return the favor of your care. I don’t always know what I should write. I do always know I owe you something that contributes to your good life. But like, what does that mean?! What is the good life

The answer to that question is also the reason I think Bucks book is vital reading for White people. Do you mind if we sit with it for a minute before the interview?

Hey! I am giving 5 Audible copies of The Right Kind of White to Pocket Observatory Members.

If you're a member, just enter your email in this little form. I'll choose 5 people randomly by Monday night!

M. Fuentes was last week's book gift recipient! Their books will arrive this week! And like??? I love giving you all the books! Let's use Pocket Observatory to get all the authors paid!

Plato said the good life was a moral life, a virtuous life. A person lives the good life by acquiring an understanding of the nature of goodness. Plato wasn’t opposed to pleasure, but he thought the only necessary pleasure was the pleasure of understanding goodness. A person could suffer immensely and still be living the good life. This understanding appeals to me in the abstract, but it’s a total bummer in practice. Ultimately, I don’t want to be good; I want to be happy. 

Aristotle’s concept of the good life feels truer to me. I know! Me, Noted Aristotle Skeptic! Noted by who? Well, definitely not Aristotle since he thought my uterus made me inherently irrational. Anyways. He said the good life required morality, but the good wasn’t morality. Instead, the good life was a eudaimonic life.

Eudaimonia is apparently difficult to define in English, but it seems to reside somewhere between and inclusive of joy and well-being. When discussing Aristotle’s good life, English speakers often use the word “happiness” in place of eudaimonia. Aristotle’s good life was a life of being-at-work, 

He says, not that happiness is virtue, but that it is virtuous activity.  Living well consists in doing something, not just being in a certain state or condition. - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 

Aristotle said that eudaimonia is the end and evidence of all other good - health, morality, friendship, pleasure, wisdom. Another way to understand that idea is to say that happiness is dependent upon the presence of all other good. That dependence makes happiness vulnerable to circumstance. A person who is ill, hungry, or isolated cannot be-at-work with the same capacity as a person who is healthy, fed and in community. 

The first time I understood Aristotle's argument, I felt angry. In my country, prejudiced policy and privatization make and keep people sick, hungry, and alone. Dependent happiness seems like deliberate punishment, “You cannot access healthcare, you do not have enough money for groceries, and you cannot be in community because America had a racist fit and excised most of its third places. Because of these deliberate deprivations, you get less happiness.”

Recommended Reading
Third Places We Lost Due to Racism: Public Pools
Public pools started closing. When an NAACP lawsuit succeeded in integrating the St. Louis Fairground Park pool in 1950, only seven white swimmers showed up the following day.

That first integrated summer, Fairground logged just 10,000 swims—down from 313,000 the previous summer,” wrote Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together.

According to McGhee, “The city closed the pool for good six years later. Racial hatred led to St. Louis draining one of the most prized public pools in the world.” Imagine that.

There are plenty of reasons to consider Aristotle with ire, but his claim that happiness is dependent isn’t one of them. Of course our well-being depends on access basic care and community! 

I’d been reading Aristotle from the cultural perspective of my time and place: American Individualism, the white supremacist myth that ravages the commons and individualizes well-being. But that is not Aristotle’s perspective. He thought the common good, or solidarity, was one of the virtues happiness required. 

“Solidarity here basically involves one person giving a certain subset of the interests of another person a status in her reasoning that is analogous to the status that she gives to her own interests in her reasoning (see, e.g., Aristotle NE 1166a1–33). For example, if my friend needs a place to sleep tonight, friendship requires that I should offer him my couch. I have to do this because friendship requires that I reason about events that affect my friend’s basic interests as if these events were affecting my own basic interests in a similar way.” - The Common Good

No one can be wholly protected from illness, lack, or loneliness. But the good life requires that we treat each other’s basic interests as if they were our own. Within our context, that means our happiness is dependent upon the presence of goods like universal healthcare, a living wage, and third places in every community. 

We do not have those things in the United States because of our society’s power structure - White supremacy. White supremacy does not value the common good, or good at all. It only values White authority. By restricting the common good, White supremacy keeps all of us from living the good life.

As a White person, I need to be-at-work with other White people to dismantle white supremacy and transmute whiteness. But it’s difficult to know where to begin. White people have treated Whiteness as default for so long, I am not always sure what it looks like. How can I change something I have not learned to recognize?

In The Right Kind of White, Bucks writes,

“There can be no transformation of Whiteness without an honest examination of it from a variety of angles, including the question of how Whiteness reacts when it sees itself in the mirror.”

In many ways, the book is a chronicle of how Buck reacts as he looks into the mirror. The book’s back cover copy calls it, “a revelatory memoir that earnestly reckons with whiteness.” I think that’s a good, concise description of what Bucks has written. But I want to sit with the word reckon for a minute. Because it’s kind of having a moment. And I want you to understand that Buck’s reckoning is not like Mitt Romney’s reckoning. Cough Cough. Ahem.

Reckon means to enumerate, put in order, make an accounting. A reckoner kept financial accounts in order, often at a table called a counter. Many people associate “reckon” with judgement, a day of reckoning. The word reckon can be traced back to the 14th century. But its root is much older.

Root words are the most basic unit of meaning in any given word. English’s oldest root words come from a reconstructed language called Proto-Indo-European, the common ancestor of the Indo-European language family. There is no record of PIE because it emerged before writing in the Late Neolithic. But indirect evidence of its existence resides in similar words and sounds across many languages. 

PIE root words often have active meaning, to carrybʰer-), to weave (webʰ-), to think (men-), to grow (gʰreh₁-), to love (lewbʰ-). It was a moving language. And its meaning moves through our words still. The PIE root -ters means to dry. It forms words like terra, toast, thirst, terrace and territory. A word formed with -ters can mean many things, but it cannot mean to wet.

Reckon is formed with the PIE root word reg-, to move in a straight line. It didn’t take long for derivatives of reg- to mean to direct in a straight line, and then to lead, rule. The Latin word for king, rex, is also formed by reg-. This seems fitting as people in power often claim to undergo reckonings when they need to defend their right to rule. 

A lot of White people, especially White men, have conducted public reckonings over the past few years. Some have even taken reckonings to the New York Times bestseller list. But most of them use their reckonings to reinforce the origin of their authority. The political version of this reckoning rejects Trumpism, while refusing to interrogate the white supremacist myths that led to Trump’s ascendency. Those myths give them, and their apologists, authority. (Cough, cough, Romney.)

The business iteration talks abashedly about the problem of Whiteness in boardrooms. Then it usually looks to the markets for solutions. Yes, the markets built to maintain and reinforce white male authority in the public and private spheres. The domestic-centered reckoning invokes Love while calling for reconciliation. Few acknowledge reconciliation cannot come before reparation. Reparation would diminish their single family home-sourced power.

They seem to think accounting is enough, there is no need to pay for damages. I guess that is the privilege of the reckoner who gets to perform their own reckoning. One usually only afforded to kings, rex non protest peccare, the king can do no wrong. It’s tempting to throw out reckon with the royal bath water. Maybe the problem is found in its root. Maybe words formed with reg- are too linear to account for the sorrow, work, hope of the past, present, future. 

But reading The Right Kind of White reminded me that root words produce varied fruits. For example, the word rack is formed with reg- too. Rack is the framework on which something is stretched, like a piece of cloth to dry. Rack is also a verb. It means to stretch out. To stretch is to reach, to expand, to prostrate oneself, to lay out for burial and to bear extension without breaking. Hooke’s law tells us that stretch requires an exertion of force. Stretch requires work. 

Bucks’ book is a reckoning, but it’s not a reinforcement of White authority. Instead it’s a stretching out, towards and away from Whiteness. The tension produced seems like it might become strong enough to hold the sorrow, work and hope of the past, present, future. There are no easy answers in this book. No simple summing up of how to solve the problem of whiteness.  It’s a framework upon which White people can begin to stretch themselves, learning how to be-at-work for good, in community, with love.

As I read the book, I kept thinking about Medievel women who were Christian mystics. Their mysticism generally followed a form. Over the course of several years or decades, a mystic had a series of revelations about God, who was Love.

Some of those revelations were nearly unbearable castigations, pulling blood and breath from their bodies. Some of those revelations were simple and comforting assurances of the transformative power of Love, all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. All the revelations were-at-work on the mystic to transform her into something beyond her cultural constructs, into a figure that could be in community with Love. 

In some ways, reading The Right Kind of White felt like reading one of those mystics. Only it was written by a modern man, there are no visions, and it’s not overly concerned with organized religion. Ha! Big differences! And also! Still! The book is the sometimes painful, sometimes simple account of someone trying to let Love be-at-work on him, as he strives to be-at-work in community with Love. And gosh damn. If that isn’t revelatory….what is?

Okay, now on to the interview

This is Garrett Bucks!

You can find Garrett Bucks debut book, The Right Kind of White, right here. You can read him every week over at The White Pages. And you can learn more about how to get involved with The Barnraisers Project here.

Over the past few years, I've done some work interrogating white supremacy. Alongside that work, I've often felt the desire to refute my whiteness. Mostly because of the shame and revulsion I feel about the construct of Whiteness.

I've also been motivated by a desire to go home. I want to find myself in the culture of my ancestors before they were subsumed into Whiteness. I ache for a homeculture that is grounded in something other than extraction. I feel so homesick!

But of course, I can't refute Whiteness because it is a construct that frames our reality. Refuting my own whiteness isn't just impossible, it's irresponsible. Instead, I need to engage with it. You write, "there can be no transformation of Whiteness without an honest examination of it from a variety of angles, including the question of how Whiteness reacts when it sees itself in the mirror." In
The Right Kind of White, you let us watch you look in the mirror.

I can't lie, when you told me about this book I felt so nervous! Like,

Brother* Bucks (*I relapse into Mormon honorifics when I am very concerned) you are writing a memoir about being a white man, titled The Right Kind of White? What if people don't take the time to read the book? To understand you are saying there is no such thing as the right kind of white? What if it all goes wrong?

After reading the book, I am no longer nervous! I get it. But for my readers who haven't read it yet, I would love for you to tell us why you decided to write this book, this way.

Thanks, sincerely, for being nervous on my behalf! I just love all that’s embedded in that nervousness– both your wonderful spirit of empathy and outreach but also a recognition, I think, of something interesting about this current moment in our collective efforts for racial justice. You and I, as White people, have had so many opportunities in our lifetime to learn from Black, Brown and Indigenous activists, to have our Whiteness challenged and deconstructed, to be called into the work of building a society beyond White supremacy, capitalism and patriarchy. And thank goodness! What a gift, to be asked to share in the imagining of a better world.

But… speaking just as a White person… how badly have we squandered that invitation? Yes, I’m talking about all those who have scoffed at or ignored it, but I’m also talking about those of us who have claimed to be “doing the work” but have focused more on proving how much more righteous and correct we are than other White people rather than actually considering “what would it look like to meaningfully contribute to building a more just world?” In the book, I use the phrase “trying to be the valedictorian of Whiteness,” which… oof!... but I don’t think I’m alone in that pursuit!

So that’s why I wrote this book. I think that we as White people have a tendency to go to a weird place (defensive, yes, but also hyper-competitive and performative) when we notice our Whiteness in the mirror. And instead of lecturing other White people about how bad THEY are, I wanted to offer something else– my own story, one of trying to run as fast as possible away not just from Whiteness but also other White people.

My hope is that by offering that story– vulnerably but with a big, open, hopeful heart– it’ll inspire others to share their story too, not just with me, but in community. And from that mutual sharing of stories, I have a sense that we’ll then be more likely to go the next step… to sit in community and ask “Yikes, that’s a mess! What does that make us want to do together?”

I love your work. I trust you. I would go to you for advice, as a mentor and friend. AND YET. Reading your book was initially challenging for me in a way I had not anticipated.

I am incredibly wary of White men, including the ones that call themselves progressives/feminists. It's a wariness that White men - as a group - have definitely earned! But it's not a wariness I feel towards you, as a person. Still. A few pages into your book, I realized that distrust was present. At first I wasn't sure what to do with that feeling. But then just few pages into your book - and then again and again - your writing directly engaged with it.

One of the most striking instances is when you write about the Columbine massacre. I was in middle school when the massacre happened. Columbine was the first time I identified White boys and White men as a threatening group.

Raised Mormon, I'd been taught that men - and implicity White men - were my guardians and protectors. I knew from hallway harrassment that individual White boys could be threats. But I thought as a group men protected me from individual men. This isn't unique to middle school me, of course. Some form of this argument is routinely made by current conservative commentators.

I can't speak for the internal motivations of the Columbine killers, so will not. But something about that day changed my understanding of the place of White men in America. I began to vaguely understand America's power structure, that it was inherently violent, and that the group with the most power - White men - were therefore the most dangerous. (With
White women coming in a close second, obviously.)

Unlike me, you did have a feminist, progressive upbringing. You were aware of structural power differences so much earlier than I was! Throughout the book you write about how the need to be “the right kind of white” too often kept you from actually centering the work of deconstructing white supremacy.

As I read your book, it struck me that a focus on being “the right kind of white” is just another way to maintain White power. I guess I understood this before, but the radical openness in your book really made it less theoretical and more tangible. I am wondering if you have any thoughts for my readers - especially my White cis male readers - about the work that we need from White men right now.

Ooh, there’s so much here. First off, it was so powerful reading your Columbine story and realizing how rooted it was in these epiphanic lessons about Whiteness and patriarchy. Now, those weren’t the words I used that day to describe the culpability and terrible/uncomfortable connection I was scared that I might share with Klebold and Harris, but that’s exactly what I was wrestling with as well. It also made me realize– you and I are around the same age, as are a lot of parents who are now wrestling with a more omnipresent world of school shootings– and it’s fascinating we don’t share more stories about our pre-adolescent and adolescent selves navigating that day! Ahhh, this is why I love memoir. 

But to go larger on your reflections on the intersection of gender, race and power, how could this just be a story of race? The missteps I’ve made that have kept me from beloved community over the years– the self-aggrandizement, the lack of accountability, the sweaty desire for leadership and status– aren’t just products of my Whiteness, but my maleness as well. And that’s before we add the layer of class in there! And straightness! Oh jeez! And so as much as this is a “book about race” of course it’s impossible to disaggregate those layers from one another. When I’m causing the most harm, is it my Whiteness or my maleness that’s taken the wheel?

But yes, to your point, it’s not just about how White supremacy and patriarchy made me a more annoying person. It’s how all those systems of oppression gave me a permission structure to primarily care about myself, my career, my quest for absolution absolutely enabled the machinery of oppression to keep humming. Because I may have been saying all the right things– quoting bell hooks and Marx and Judith Butler and Baldwin– but if every message I’m receiving says “it’s ok if, at the end of the day, it’s all about you,” I’m 100% reinforcing all those systems, perhaps not as violently as many White men, but just as effectively.

One more thing I will say, specifically to cis White male readers (hey fellas), is just how intensely parallel my false quest to be a “good White person” was with my self-definition as “one of the good guys.” Two big ole destructive myths, right there! Two stories that purport to be about empathy for others that are really about your own ego appeasement. 

I know both you and I are such big fans of Lyz Lenz’s latest book, This American Ex-Wife. While I thought all of it was brilliant, the chapter that has stuck with me the most was her exegesis of the “Not All Men” myth. It sounds like a trite lesson, but for those of us with any power-holding identity, it’s one we obviously haven’t learned yet: if your primary drive in life (consciously or not) is to be personally absolved from culpability in systems of oppression, you’re gonna end up being weird and unhelpful in your relationships.

If you’re instead actually interested in and attentive to the other people in your life– especially across lines of difference– that’s not an automatic ticket to authentic, mutually liberating relationships, but it’s a start.

In this book, you talk a lot about the "religion of being right vs the religion of being in love." You're not talking about religion in the go to church sense. Instead, you're talking about where your devotion lies. A devotion to being right is a devotion to your own authority. A devotion to being in love is a devotion to a kind of weakness that subverts your own authority. Devotion is shown through daily observance, through practice.

I write observances in a place called Pocket Observatory, so this framing obviously resoantes with me. After reading your book, I felt really opened up to the internal and external work of being in love. I want to devote myself to love!

But then the next day, or the next week, I know it will all begin to feel too abstract, too overwhelming. I don't want a self-help book to tell me what to do. But I can imagine myself needing an example in a week or two when the inevitable overwhelm sets in. So I'd just love to hear about how you observe being in love on a daily basis.

Some days, I feel really wonderfully at peace with not writing the self-help version of this book (or, at the very least, three more self-help chapters). I fear that would veer too readily into me telling folks how to be the right kind of White rather than deconstructing that quest. But I also connect so deeply with the longing you named here. It’s so overwhelming! And the systems of oppression feel so concrete and massive, and the tools at our disposal feel so wispy and ephemeral. I completely understand the desire to have somebody sit us down and say “hey, eager changemaker… go do this!”

So here’s what I’ll say. As you know, I’m an organizer. Or more specifically, I train a whole lot of earnest, would-be organizers across the country. And every single one of us, of course, feels inadequate– how can we look at the world and not feel like our efforts aren’t enough?

But I find that my friends and trainees who are most grounded– both on the internal and external side– are those who’ve committed to a long-term project that is both rooted in their local community and responsive to shaking the cages of broader systems.

It’s the folks who joined a local mutual aid network during the peak pandemic years and, well, never left. It’s the housed neighbors who already got together for potlucks and block parties who challenged each other “what would it look like to welcome our unhoused neighbors into this? And what would it look like to advocate beside them for a more just system?” 

It’s the moms (almost always the moms, ahem) who didn’t have time for any of that because they have been asked to make up for our country’s broken social safety net but who texted their two best friends about it and are like “listen, we don’t know what to do, and we don’t have enough time to do it, but let’s start yelling at our electeds together.”

I’ve seen a lot of organizing efforts grow in incredible ways. I’ve also seen a lot of them fizzle and struggle to find traction. But there’s something to the accountability of trying, over a long patient time frame, with a group (even if that group is just two close friends) that I’ve found changes the conversation from “oh my God am I doing or saying the right thing?” to “what does showing up for this community look like?”

You spent decades feeling conflicted about your identity, your ambitions, the nature of the good you should be doing. Over and over again, you write that the only time you feel steady about who you are, what you are, what work you should do, is when you are engaged in care work for your wife and children. And then, later in the book, when you become very ill and temporarily disabled, you write with great care about the care work that is extended to you.

And honestly, I’ve read this perspective from women before. A lot! But I am struggling to think of a recent (or not so recent!) book by a man that has so thoroughly embraced day-to-day care work as part of their identity, as part of their revelatory journey, as part of their recorded lives.

I would love for you to talk about the role care work had in helping you understand the shortcomings of trying to be the right kind of white.

I feel so beautifully seen by that question, Meg. Thank you. That’s one more place that the intersection of race and gender shows up in the book, because while (at least in my understanding, please correct me if you disagree) White women often experience more of a push/pull of the ambition and competitiveness of White supremacy and the responsibility of care under patriarchy (because if not women and non-binary folks, then who will pick up the slack?), as a White cis man, you can easily live your life ONLY leaning into ambition and competitiveness.

And to speak about the internal/external work, that’s a daily process of not opting out of care– in a heterosexual partnership, of course, but also in how I show up in community. One anecdote I recently noticed, to that point: even though our multi-racial, multi-class public school has a higher than average percentage of stay at home dads, you will not be surprised that the PTA volunteer list is still disproportionately working moms– what does that say about how even the stay at home dads are still limiting their understanding of care to existing within the household?

The other wrinkle you named so well here is the importance of understanding myself as somebody not just capable of providing care, but needing to receive it as well. I’ve been thinking about that element a ton lately– I think this piece by Courtney Martin wrestles with it really well.

We haven’t mentioned paternalism or White saviorism explicitly in this conversation yet, but of course there’s been plenty of that in my story (not just towards communities of color, mind you– I’ve also spent some time trying to be the White savior of Whiteness). And jeez that missionary impulse is really hard to fully excavate from your life. So of course I’m still learning. But one thing that makes it more possible is coming alive to the fact that, if you truly care about community, you need to be ready to ask for and receive help too.

Garrett, you've been so patient with my prodding. Thank you! One last question!

genocide to the transatlantic slave trade to redlining to care work capitalism to colonial imperialism to Katie Britt's kitchen table to the carceral state, it’s pretty damn apparent that White supremacy endangers community. In the book, you ask White people to create and sustain community with each other as they work to transform Whiteness. And to be clear, you are echoing (with citations!) many Black activists. White people need to do this work - for ourselves, with each other.

I grew up in a mostly White community in the LDS Church. There are a lot of good people in that community! But I have seen how White communities can be used in service of power even as they employ all the words associated with dismissing power. And I know what you're thinking! Does this circle back to my fear of White men? Only followed by my fear/distrust of White women, including myself?! TOTALLY!

I am frankly afraid of White community building. Even with a groundwork of good intentions, it always seems rearrange into the power structure it claims to disrupt. But I do want to heed the call of Black and Indigenous activists and community organizers who've told me again and again that this is part of the work.

So please (PLEASE!) tell me how I can build community with other White people in a way that doesn't reinforce White authority.

Meg! You really cut to the core here. Because I do end up, at the end of the book, with a call to community, specifically community with other White people (not solely, of course, but still). And on one hand, that’s cute and good, because who doesn’t love community, at least in the abstract? But our understanding of that term, particularly in White spaces, is really warped. We hear it and we assume it means just being nice to each other, or being present in the same space but reinforcing societal power dynamics. Or, as you know deeply from LDS communities, offering care and support, but with strings attached. And that’s a very White supremacist understanding of community. 

True community infers not just care but accountability. And it also means aligning how (and why) you’re showing up together to your community’s greatest need. And for White people, our deepest, most endemic, most life destroying community need is to dismantle White supremacy. And yes, that’s not something we can do without continuing to listen to and take direction from Black, Brown and Indigenous communities. But as I discovered, there’s also a huge element that won’t happen without us wrestling with our addiction to the spoils of White supremacy together. Why are we so committed to our country’s apartheid school system? And ponzi scheme housing market? And not-actually-a-real-democracy electoral system? And police and military industrial complex? What are we scared of giving up? That’s the real work of community. 

One aside there. When I talk about organizing White people, or building accountable community with White people, I want to make it clear: I’m a cis straight White guy. There are a higher percentage of White communities that are safe organizing spaces for me than is true for all of us. I can go to a Trump rally without real danger or risk. That’s not true for all of us. And that’s ok… because we need radical, accountable, better-world-imagining White communities in every nook and cranny: in Queer spaces, leftist enclaves, in suburbs, cities and rural areas, between women, between men, etc. etc. etc. 

Also, I have no doubt that there will be White people who finish the book and are down for that general message but don’t know where to go next. And I’m by no means the only person offering a place to go and learn, but that is one reason why  the other half of my day job is offering trainings (free, by the way– though I sustain them through donations on the back end) on how to organize White communities for justice.

And if my trainings aren’t for you, I’m happy to connect any White person, anywhere, with folks doing the work in their community. Believe it or not, that’s the easy part. As I discovered over a lifetime, it’s building the desire to run towards rather than away from other White people, especially the ones who remind you of your own shortcomings, that’s the hard part. And that’s why I wrote a book about developing that particular heart muscle.

As I say near the end of the book, what a mess we are, us White people! What a domination-sustaining, harm causing mess. That’s the bad news. And even throughout our conversation, you’ve been such a wonderful, honest voice for how isolating and confounding that mess can feel. But here’s the good news: We both don’t have to and can’t figure our way out of it alone. And this conversation was such a model for that. So thank you, Meg. It’s a profound honor to have you as a friend and a partner in mucking through all this.

Find The Right Kind of White right here.

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