No funny gifs this time. Just the hard truth.
I don't hesitate to acknowledge I'm racist. It's the world I grew up in. This is a country built on racism. At its root, America loves Black culture and hates Black people.
I keep thinking I have to make a writing group that's inclusive to everyone. But that's not possible. You can't create a safe space for everyone. And if I don't call something out as racist - even in my own work - I'm not living up to the standards I set for myself and the Writer's Group.
Things are going to get uncomfortable. If someone shares a piece of writing that's racist, ableist, sexist, or any number of prejudices we hold without realizing it, we owe it to each other to say so without mincing words.
I caught a racist trope in my book intended to be a joke. I know my intentions were good, but wow did I fail hard. I won't lie. The first few times you get called out for racism or ableism, it hurts. It hits your ego and it SUCKS.
But then it stops hurting, and you're embarrassed that you haven't learned better yet.
This is my contract. If you're not a fit for this group, I will ask you to leave. But everyone gets a chance to do better. I won't put my discomfort of not wanting to say something over other people's need to be respected as people.
We all deserve better.