Part II - So How Can We White Men Work Together?


So, how can we white men work together?

Me - 40 pounds heavier - some time ago - above

We can:

1.)  Show curiosity – deep curiosity about a lot of things,

2.)  Recognize, when we are deeply privileged, that we both:

a.    Have a lot of potential power, individually and collectively, and

b.   Feel a sense of responsibility to seriously “do the work” in sustained, significant ways,

3.)  Confront the relative complacency within ourselves and other privileged people (in general),

4.)  Feel uncomfortable, like an outsider, even perhaps an (unwilling) imposition upon others more much more than tokenly,

5.)  Network – build allyship – and confront our tendency to be “buddies”, rather than allies both with others similar to who we are in our complexities, as we are, and

6.)  Working as “outsiders” supporting the work of people,  much different from ourselves,

7.)  Take on the seeming hopelessness(es) of our worlds, with deep commitment to see the lifelong journeys we are having,

8.)  Make mistakes, seeking to minimize the harm coming from them,

9.)  Take risks to be an effective part of major, positive, systemic societal and world change,

10.)                Do both the personal work and the “action work”, helping learn from both resources, and the lived experiences of others,

11.)                Build relaxation, “time away”, and similar into our being, while ensuring that it isn’t “detouring”, and perhaps most importantly to,

12.)                Recognize how we are hurt by our Patriarchal Maleness, and really want to “do the work” both to:

a.    Benefit ourselves – looking to the long-term particularly


b.   Be allies – often at a distance – from the “others” – those whose life experiences and being is very different from ours.

I’d like to share examples both of individual men I know, two of whom are “doing it” and one who in my opinion isn’t.

One white man is active locally, and is finding it challenging helping build effective work nationally, particularly with other privileged white men.    On a personal level he is choosing to do ch ange his work career to make it easier for his partner to change hers.   His curiosity is amazing.   He is often brutally honest with me about positive and negative things in his life.

A second amazing white man has helped me, personally, in my change by example.   His daily life contains multiple complexities that for most others would serve as a pathway to saying:  “I’ll be there once things get really doable” and “I need a few years until I can really deeply be there”.  

Instead, he does so much, while at times needing to say: “no, I can’t do this tonight” to take care of himself.   He is amazingly active, doing so much.

I want to contrast the third man, with the first two.   He is superficially totally similar to the first two men.   He means well.   This man is really “doing the work” in terms of his commitment to important causes locally and nationally.

There are key things that are lacking.    His curiosity seems stunted, particularly when he is challenged.   He acknowledges his feelings, and yet they seem to get in the way.   Perhaps, he’s stuck in his head, not his heart.   He lacks passion.   He’s stuck being a “buddy”, not an ally.

Buddies pat one another on the back.   Buddies support excuse making.   Allies aren’t afraid of being embarrassed in their work, while they are working to minimize the harm they cause.   Allies look at:

1.    Us – those we are both a part of and in alignment with, as well as:

2.    Others we share some common ground with and finally

3.    See the importance of actively being (distant) allies of others we share relatively little with.

The “us” are for example, fellow privileged white men.

The “common ground folks” may include:

1.    Privileged white women, as well as:

2.    Somewhat – at times – in some ways privileged BIPOC.

The distant (potentially distant) others are people such as economically poor Black Queer Women.

In seeking to work with other privileged white men I recognize how easy it could be for our individual paths to be deeply embedded in our privilege, while we tokenly build towards systemic change.    I see how isolated I can easily be from deep connection with others beyond my life partner.

In doing my work, I recognize how important “meaning” is deeply embedded in me, with all is complexities.   “Happiness” is sometimes a part of the meaning in my life.   My anger, fears, sadness, and grief are also important.    I want to feel the (literal) pain(s) within me, so I “make it to the doctor in time”.   I acknowledge my guilt and shame. 

I want to end this writing, acknowledging positive examples in my life through a multitude of links to individuals and groups/organizations who/that help me.   This (too) is a process, a lifelong process.   Other notable white men (and others in general) have different, perfectly valid, styles related to how we are on our individual journeys.

1.    Paul Kivel -

2.    George Hrbek –

3.    Lynn Burnett –

4.    Shelly Tochluk –

5.    Esther Armah -

6.    Fida Jiryis-

7.    Constructive White Conversations  -

8.    AWARE-LA and LAMP –

9.    Anne Braden -

10.              Angela Davis -

11.              Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)

12.              bell hooks -

13.              Great Music – 94.9 The Surf -

14.              Rashida Tlaib -

15.              Rashid Khalidi -

16.              Bayard Rustin -

17.              Howard Zinn -

18.              Great Music – 94.9 The Surf -

19.              AROC (Oakland-San Francisco Area)


Three Documentaries – Racism, Reproductive Justice + Palestine:

I’d love to hear from others (particularly white men).   Resources, constructive criticism, others I should know about and more are welcome.   Please note:  my name is the correct part of the email address below – with the “*’s” – to avoid spam:  

m*rxgeo(at)gmail(dot)com +

my personal blogsite: writings/links, etc:






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