You know, a few weeks ago I had this crazy idea of offering myself up as a sort of case study in how my relationship with race has changed over the course of my life. The idea was that I'd attempt to let it all hang out and give the most honest, objective, and thorough account of what sort of environment I was raised in, the beliefs that I've held (for better or worse), and how they've evolved.
My thinking was that this was gonna be a 100% no bullshit, warts-and-all account that was as brutally honest as humanly possible. It's not the most dramatic change in the world--it's not like I started off with all these horrible beliefs that would end my career if made public, but the plan was to be totally unsparing to some of the more embarrassing stuff I grew out of.
I actually got pretty far into it before my reservations caught up with me. I wasn't afraid of "getting in trouble" or anything like that. It was more about the awkward fear of being yet another White guy reframing the conversation to be about himself.
So I bounced back and forth.
My thinking was that offering myself up as a case study could provide useful information that very few people are willing or able to openly detail in public. To me, it was the racial psychology equivalent of donating your organs to science. But another voice kept telling me the whole exercise was narcissistic and pretentious, as if I was making this all about myself, and we've got more than enough of that as is.
I haven't totally shelved the idea and may revisit it soon. Pieces like this are slowly pushing me towards "go ahead", but I'm still a little uncomfortable with the idea of presenting myself as a sort of model, even if it's a deeply flawed one.