Black people don't have the luxury of choosing to ignore racism. If you're white, the conversations about racial bias, police brutality, and white privilege that have been heightened by George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade's senseless deaths may be new to you, but it's not the Black community's job to educate white people. Becoming a better ally means seeking out anti-racism resources, taking actionable steps to fight racism and white supremacy, and above all, listening to the experiences of Black individuals. If you're white, here's how to listen when your Black partner talks about racism, because your SO should know they have your support.
In interracial relationships, it's imperative for white partners to be conscious of the racial disparity in education, representation, and the criminal justice system, among many other things. While a white person may be tempted to express their own feelings, apologize, or get defensive, initial conversations about racism with their Black partner should revolve around their SO's pain, not their own. The best thing a white partner can offer during conversations with a Black SO is support and a listening ear, not opinions. Here are some tips for navigating conversations about racism with your Black partner if you're not sure how to get started.