LEARNING TO SEE COLOR & be reliably anti-racist is a personal journal about facing the fact that racism is a problem white people have to solve. I want to be part of the solution. We are the only ones who can dismantle white supremacy and make justice and respect the new normal for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in America. BIPOC is a new, inclusive word to me.

My posts on this site are in the four general topics I’m exploring to learn about systemic racism in America. The perspectives are mine, from my white lived experience.

The name of this blog is personal: 

“People all want the same things,” I said several decades ago to a Black woman poet from Georgia. “If we were blind, we wouldn’t even see each other’s skin color.”

At the time, I thought I wanted to assure her I was colorblind and accepted her—she was the only BIPOC woman at a writers’ retreat with five white women. Now, I realize it was because she talked all the time and seemed angry about everything. The harsh reality in the lived experiences that filled her poetry made me so uncomfortable I wanted to cover my ears and not have to hear about them. I wanted to get us to some kind of pleasant ground I wanted to share.

Her anger at me became loud and righteous, leaving me in tears, wounded and misunderstood. I felt overwhelmed, because the wall of her anger made any connection between us impossible, which was the opposite of my intention. I would forever be, to her, the racist writer at a retreat, and there didn’t seem anything I could say or do to change her conclusion. I walked away then—I literally left the retreat early—because I had no clue how to defend myself as a good person, or how to listen to what she was saying and why. If you are a Black woman writer reading this, the only amends I can make is to vow that I won’t turn away or walk out again when I’m in the presence of sensibilities and lived experiences that aren’t my own.