The Perfectionist

Susan Naimark

Abstract


The Undoing of a Perfectionist is a reflective piece about the challenges particular to being a white trainer on issues of race and privilege. The primary audience for this submission is white people who are learning to step up and speak out about racism and white skin privilege. By sharing a personal experience, I hope to help others recognize the inherent contradictions in this work for white people, AND the value of sticking with it. My story is not uncommon, of replicating white supremacist behaviors even as I am teaching other white people about white supremacy! I know that many white people who engage in this work find themselves in similar situations. My message is that, yes, you will find yourself in these difficult moments if you choose to step up and speak out – and that you can learn to move through the discomfort. That is part of the process of unlearning white supremacist behavior.


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