Healing My Struggles with Whiteness (As a White Guy)

Adam French
5 min readDec 9, 2023

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For white people who struggle with identity and allyship in a world transitioning out of white supremacy culture.

Being a white guy is hard!

Yeah, I said it.

I’m not saying that white privilege doesn’t exist.

I also recognize wholeheartedly the struggle of all the non-white folks who have found themselves encircled by a dominant culture that punishes them for expressing who they are.

I am saying that growing up with that privilege has diminished my capability for empathy, healthy expression of emotions, and connection.

Growing up immersed in white supremacist culture (the subtle, liberal kind) skewed my perception of expressing emotions, biasing me towards a forced projection of calm and passive aggressiveness.

The same cultural DNA that creates micro-aggressions also inflicts cuts on my soul. These cuts in the moment are barely felt, but add up until I feel empty, soulless, and depressed.

It’s the way that when I was a kid, my high energy states were oppressed by the authority figures around me.

“Stay still in your seat!”

“Adam! Stop talking so loud”

(after being the hyperactive crackhead I was as a child) “I think you need to go run around the block”

Continual messages that I wasn’t wanted unless I fit inside the “box” that I have now come to understand as the norms of a patriarchal and white supremacist culture.

I’ve always struggled with the labels though.

To me, “Patriarchal” and “white supremacist” implies that these states of being are inherent in being white and a man.

I’ve learned that the labels come from the awareness that colonial states of being have simply been perpetuated historically by white men. Around the world, lighter shades of skin and masculine ways of being have dominated and placed themselves in a position of superiority.

Superiority is also something that I’ve struggled with.

The deep, insidious belief that people who’ve experienced more pain are “traumatized” and therefore their experience becomes somehow…

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Adam French

Regenerative Design + Entrepreneurship + Personal Development & Spirituality. Want to jam? Hit me up adam@interform.space