Me and White Supremacy: Day 25 Journal Questions

5 min readFeb 24, 2023


“Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad

I’m leading a group discussion circle on “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad. I’m taking the journaling challenge daily throughout February even though I’m not white. If you happen to be white, why not take the challenge? If I can do it, you can do it too.

Day 25 Questions (from the text):

1. How do you feel about speaking up about racism and white supremacist beliefs and actions to your family members?

2. How have you excused or ignored your family members’ racist behaviors because addressing them seems too difficult and you want to keep the peace?

3. How have you excused your elders’ racism because they are “from another time”?

4. If you are a parent, how do you speak to your children about racism beyond “we don’t see color”? How early did you or will you speak to your children about racism and white privilege? How early did your parents or caregivers speak to you about racism and white privilege?

5. What racist beliefs have you internalized from your family?

6. To what extent do you place white comfort over antiracism in your family?

7. What are some ways in which you can begin to have deeper conversations with your family about racism?

8. How do you allow perfectionism to get in the way of having racial conversations with your family?

9. In what ways do you (or can you) organize your family to show up for BIPOC in your communities? Not from a place of white saviorism but rather by volunteering at and donating to anti-racist movements and organizations being led by BIPOC in your communities?

In the final week, it would seem the author is giving us a bit of a reprieve. Perhaps that’s because we did a lot of the heavier lifting early on. If the first three weeks were about going deep, this one is about spreading wide what we’ve learned, and making sure our impact in our anti-racism journey resonates as far as possible.

- — -

Everyone has family drama — one could argue it’s the great uniter. I’ve talked to many people since 2016 who have shared with me the turmoil they and their families had experienced when certain family members unapologetically embraced the normalization of white supremacy, rape culture, and ableism ushered in by our 45th president.

Some of these people explained to me that they were feeling caught in an impossible dance — needing to strike a balance between familial bonds and their own moral compass, all the while questioning how much proximity they wanted or could take from their kin on any given day. I heard stories of feigned tolerance in the interest of wanting to not only keep the peace, but also keep one’s own peace of mind. I heard tales of patience wearing thin, causing rebuttal, or even outbursts, and from those outbursts, rifts. I’ve had people tell me they’ve started holding certain family members at arm’s length or further, going out of their way not to encounter them. As an extreme example, I was even dating someone in 2016 who cut her father off completely after the election, and then changed her last name.

I empathized with my friends and confidants who shared these stories with me, but I was not able to directly relate, as the opinions of everyone in my own family fell in line with my own. I was at once grateful for not having to endure that pain, and saddened for those who did.

It wasn’t until summer of 2020 that I got a glimpse of what it was like to necessitate losing someone I considered family to irreconcilable differences of worldview. This was someone I had trusted, loved, and who had been there for me in the past. I thought of this person when the author, way back on day 4, described the friend who ghosted her after so much support given when race was not the topic of discussion.

We were like family.

2019 was the summer I went to Burning Man for the first time ever, and this person, having gone the year before, was instrumental in making my preparation as easy as possible. She bought me camping supplies, then took me out to lunch. Once we arrived in Black Rock City she showed me the ropes. While there she would introduce me to folks as her “adopted son”. She was continually checking in on me to make sure I was making the most of my time there. I know it might be hard for those not accustomed to the culture of the event, but the people you camp with at Burning Man become family, and this was even more true in this case, because unlike all my west coast campmates she lived within driving distance. Upon returning home, we stayed in touch. We would meet in Philly for lunch, she would invite me to her house for dinner and conversation.

All that changed in a matter of a few days in the late spring of 2020. Several days after George Floyd’s murder, I got a text from her:

“Hey buddy — are you ok?”

“Hey — thanks for checking in. No, I am not ok.”


Three days later, on her socials, I see her trumpeting “Back the blue”.

I was stunned. In the immediate wake of this brutal slaying, this is the stance she was taking, in public. I started reading some of the comments she and others were leaving on her posts and my soul sank. As one who has never really been able to keep quiet, I started chiming in on her posts, offering my perspective, explaining why what these folks were saying was so heartless and devoid of compassion, explaining that as someone who’s dad had caught a cop’s bullet how personally affected I was at what had happened in Minneapolis. I didn’t expect to get any sympathy from her commenters, but when she doubled down my heart and our relationship broke. I calmly and carefully explained to her that this was the last time we’d talk, and that even though I know she thinks she loved me like family, her actions told me otherwise.

Yesterday I explained how easy it was to lose “friends”, and then find new friends. Family is not as easily replaceable. Especially when your fondness for someone causes you to be blindsided by their shortcomings.

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