In the words of the late poet and activist Audre Lorde, who wrote so clearly and fiercely about both the barriers that difference creates and the possibility of transcending those differences: ‘I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives there. See whose face it wears.’

The moments when I have gotten close to touching that terror are both frightening and exhilarating. They wash me clean and, at the same time, leave permanent scars. I sometimes rush toward those moments and other times do not have the strength to get too close. I am afraid of failing, of being seen and seen-through. I remain terrified, and yet I continue to seek out that terror as often as I can bear it, for one simple reason: Those are the moments in my life when I come closest to tasting real freedom.

-Robert Jensen, The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege