Dr. Holland’s Blog – My Thoughts on Racism

My Personal Thoughts on Racism

As a white person, I must continue to own my racism, and wrestle with it, and challenge my beliefs as they occur in the moment, every day. Racism lives in me. To be actively anti-racist is a choice I must make each moment every day, as well as model loudly and effectively.

I must confront it when I see it in writing, when I hear it in someone’s speech, when I even suspect it is there. Especially when it is in my own heart and mind, and visible in my subtle expressions.

I must continue to examine and refuse to act on my feelings of desperation, embarrassment, shame, privilege, profound white loneliness, my fear of otherness, my assumptions about difference, my hatred, and jealousy.

Even with a solid education, and a leaning towards social justice, I am constantly doing battle with all the subconscious recordings from my family of origin and the generations before them influencing me to believe that I am:

  • better than,
  • entitled to more,
  • have power over.

… because I was lucky enough to be born white.

I wish to continue to strive to override this programming because I want to be close with others. It is also my responsibility to override my own hard-wiring with:

  • conscientious thought,
  • speech and
  • actions.

This is my responsibility as a human being, as a mother and as a psychologist. And I am working to teach my children and clients by my example. And I make a lot of mistakes. And I may be saying this wrong. And I might be misunderstood or misinterpreted, but at least we are talking about it, now.

And thanks for thinking critically and listening, for being willing to consider and ask questions, and for the courage to imagine taking a few risks to create the change we must make.