do some good, white men

I like this by Freddie deBoer, and I think he is absolutely right:

I understand that a lot of white men feel a little at sea right now and are kind of trying on different personalities in an effort to be cool people. I have a modicum of sympathy! What should white men do, in 2021? Comfortably and unapologetically occupy their space as white men and make conscious decisions to increase justice and reduce suffering in whatever ways they are able. I’d like white men, in other words, to be good people, as all of us have the capacity to be, and to leave the endless impotent posturing about one’s identity to others. If you’re a young white man and you’re trying to navigate evolving social mores, I think that the path forward is blissfully simple: do everything you can to be a good person and do not waste a single moment feeling guilty about being a white man. Such guilt never helped anyone, and besides, your concern is your integrity, and integrity is about choice. You didn’t choose to be white or male, so those things are not relevant to your integrity. Be kind. Be honest. Be gentle. Protect those weaker than you. Tell the truth. And don’t spend a day of your life apologizing for who you are. I promise, you’ll do more good for others that way than you will farming likes and retweets by complaining about white men on Twitter.

We lose a lot of energy and passion by imploring people to spend a lot of time navel gazing, instead of getting out in the world and doing something good. This is especially true of the Church. Many churches, it seems, would rather do the work of meeting together and observing their own shortcomings, and this often takes away from getting out and being the hands and feet of Christ.

Now, this isn’t at all to say that introspection does not have a time or place, nor that we should be completely unaware of the social position our various identities bring to us. But those observations should fuel us to doing some good in the world, not wallowing in our own guilt. Nor should it be used as a way to exclude or marginalize anew, or to excuse oneself from doing Good for others.


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