Sharing an essay I wrote for the First Person series at Vox:

 

White people are doing a lot of soul-searching these days.

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who recently admitted to wearing blackface in a Michael Jackson impersonation competition, just announced that he’s going on a “listening tour” to learn about racism. Actor Liam Neeson admitted to wanting to commit a racist murder in his youth, saying, “It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that.”

I’ve been thinking about the complexities around confession and forgiveness. As a psychotherapist for 25 years who has worked immersed in issues of race and racism, I believe it is important for white people to find spaces where we can name our past racist failures and identify the ways we have been both contaminated by racist systems and have perpetrated racist acts.

But…

 

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