They told me what would happen. I started following racism eradication activists on twitter, and they told me, down to the last squeak of privilege and bleat of illogic and roar of cognitive bias and growl of hatred and whine of misdirection and concussive threat of personal violence and siren of tone policing, exactly what would happen to me when I started confronting racist speech in others, in public. In a three round conversation, I got it all but the threat of violence, including how the other person’s spelling and grammar devolved as (I assume from the name) he completely lost his shit.
I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding conflict and trying to talk pretty; this is going to make the friendships I have with people who want to help me with the work even more important. It already IS ugly. Up until this point I’ve had no skin in the game. That’s what privilege does. Now I want to have skin in the game without getting my feelings hurt, and that’s just not going to happen, and I have to get over it, and I’m scared.
One of the things that is helping is learning about the Japanese-American and African-American troops as they served their country fighting in the Second World War. They wanted to prove two things, their patriotism and their worth. Many made the ultimate sacrifice to demonstrate both. As they fought in their campaigns, they encountered the worst of what human beings can do to each other, and helped destroy the engines of fascism and racism, although they could not eradicate those ideologies. With their sacrifice in mind, I will get off my ass; I will quit whining; I will do the work.