A racist, they call me. A white supremacist! I would but laugh if this weren’t such an incredible misunderstanding! Here, within my jail cell and in the outside world, those accusations are flung at me with such righteous indignation! It would seem as though they hate me, but it is simply misplaced rage.

Oh, the poor souls! If they only knew! If they were but aware of what pure motives guided my actions. To any observer, it would seem like blind, vile hate inspired by white supremacy, but as you will see, they were prompted by nothing else than an unquenchable desire to rid this planet of the disgusting institution that I through my mere existence have perpetuated.

Yes, hear me out, though I myself be a white man laden with indescribable privilege from his first breath. Listen to my story, and decide then for yourself. You judge if I am a racist or not! There is no doubt that when I am finished, you will be utterly swayed by the facts of this case and wholly amazed that a man such as I could be found in these circumstances.

Throughout much of my childhood, I was kept ignorant of all these things by growing up in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood made possible by oppression. It was first in high school history class that I became exposed to all the evils of the white man, his horrors, atrocities, and crimes committed against peoples of color. There, the true essence of my wretched race was made known to me.

My parents had taught me of these things prior, but like all complicit white peoples, they naturally downplayed our ancestors’ involvement and denied their complicity in the ongoing injustice running rampant in society and culture. For the sake of familial relations, I maintained relative silence, but within me burned a righteous indignation against their implicit approval of what was happening and their lack of guilt over it. I vowed I would atone for our sins and make amends as best I could. I would make up for the sins of the father.

I carried out that mission beginning in high school, when I joined an anti-racism club and helped build banners for its MLK Day celebration rally. I studiously analyzed the works of Howard Zinn and other authors whose works were too truthful for them to be accepted by mainstream historians. I kept a notebook with the names of civil rights leaders, and with each new name, I heard I sought my best to memorize them. For my high school graduation quote, I reiterated Reverend Jesse Jackson’s famous proclamation that Western civilization had to go.

My zealotry intensified once I began studying at a private university that had aptly demonstrated to me that despite its ineffectiveness, the efforts toward greater racial inclusion were genuine. Once there, I refused all offers to join fraternities that despite their black members still reeked of the vestige of white supremacy. I joined the cultural diversity organization and participated in the annual Columbus Day protest. Though I majored in computer science, I minored in ethnic studies and diligently attended every single classes, receiving perfect scores on each test.

Oh, you should have been there! Listening to my professors speak of the continuous, entrenched, systematic racism in this country was like hearing a preacher delivering a fire and brimstone sermon to a sinner convicted in his soul. The history of the white man was one of great guilt, but for those such as I, there was also an opportunity to make things right. He spoke of all the things unknown to us, how far our white privilege truly went and what we could about it. I was determined to follow his every word of advice.

I cannot fully describe the enthusiasm with which I attempted to eradicate every trace of my own privilege, except to say I did all that could be done. I rejected all attempts to make any form of judgment against any peoples of color. I stopped avoiding certain parts of town that I considered unsafe, to deconstruct those biases. I showed the utmost sympathy for the minorities in my midst struggling with the cruelty of a culture that I by my mere existence was perpetuating in so many ways both seen and unseen that I could not begin to count.

And yet my work seemed completely futile. With every old habit stemming from my heritage that I corrected, another behavior was exposed for me to address.  And once I had resolved them all, I discovered during a racial reconciliation seminar the insidious manners in which white supremacy managed to survive and spread within me in the form of continuous microaggressions. It grieved me terribly when I reflected on all the times I had unknowingly spread racism through ordinary words and actions.

How evil must a creature be that it can unknowingly and against their very wishes oppress their fellow beings in such a manner?

Nevertheless, I was blessed with opportunities to prove to myself and those around me that I had successfully rejected the instinctive urges to dominate. Though I married a white woman, I insisted that she share my commitment to racial integration. At dinner gatherings and family holidays, we reminded our siblings and parents of ways to help the disenfranchised around them. Although I ultimately chose not to leave my career in the tech industry after my salary increased rapidly, I donated to the most progressive groups and submitted to the occasional criticism concerning my wealth. Those heartfelt critiques only inspired me to offer more generous tithes to the Cause.

A similar approach I took when our children were born. Renouncing my polluted heritage, I gave them non-European names and downplayed all aspects of their family’s past except the part that mattered, the part they had to confront if they were to make up for it. Instead of Thanksgiving, we celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Christmas was replaced with a Winter Solstice celebration, until I was informed its pagan roots were too Eurocentric. Each birthday, my children got to choose which charity would receive a special donation. When they graduated, I encouraged them to enter fields where they could change the world.

My enthusiasm only intensified through the years. During the national anthem protests, I refused to stand whenever the song was played, and when musicians mocked the uber-patriotism so common during the Fourth of July, I joined them in ridiculing the preposterous notion that there was anything worth cherishing from that event.

And yet…nothing seemed sufficient. No act or deed was sufficient to give me a peace of mind. It was as though something had gone unfulfilled, that I had somehow held back a part of me. This sense of incompleteness was only exacerbated by the 2016 election. White patriarchy, long hidden in the shadows and impossible to pinpoint exactly, had stepped out into the light and embraced by millions of Americans, millions of whom had cleverly concealed their bigotry in the past by voting for the first black president just four years prior.

Following election night, a great trepidation gripped my social circle, apprehensive of what was in store for the country. What was to be done? As I contemplated the matter further, dwelling on it for hours on end into the night, the terrible, terrible truth occurred to me: there was no redeeming the white man. He was beyond hope. He could not be restored to the rest of mankind. I was not immune to this fate. But what could I do?

Mediating on it, I finally came to a frightening conclusion. I could not resist the devil inside me.

So, I would expose it.

Under an alias, I formed an online white supremacist group.

Oh, I didn’t call it that precisely. I used a more diplomatic term, calling it a “pro-white” organization. Researching the movements thoroughly, I used all the proper codeworks and phrases. I was fighting to “protect Christendom and European heritage” and “support the traditional family against feminism.”  I spoke of how young white men had no one looking out for them and that I would fill that gap. At first, I posted links to seemingly benign patriarchal works such as Aristotle, St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

My thought was that by forming this group, I could bring attention to the world of what had been going on for years unnoticed.

Within weeks, thousands were frequenting the site every day. I constantly received dozens of emails. Soon after, I opened a chatroom at their request, moderating it under the appropriate alias “Charles Martel.” Soon there were daily posts venting and expressing the worst vitriol you can imagine against other peoples

I must confess that much of the hateful discourse was in part accelerated by my posts and less-than-discreet prodding. Those who were reluctant to air their bigotry or urged moderation in our tone and speech I accused of being a sellout or, ironically enough, a possible infiltrator. That and the tacit pressure from others was enough to either make them silent. I also encouraged discussions that brought out the most hate and downplayed topics that masked their vitriol behind the guise of intellectual pursuit.

As the forum’s activity grew, I knew that if white supremacy was to be thoroughly crushed, I would have to take things to the next level. The world had to see us for what we were. Perhaps then, they would realize the futility of dealing with us and act accordingly.

One day, I proposed that we would have an evening meeting when it was dark. Somewhere discreet and safe to break out of the online world and make real-life friendships. I proposed we congregate one evening outside of a large Gothic-style church in our city well known for its social justice activism that had made me, an ardent atheist, occasionally attend a few of their worship services in solidarity. From there, we would then venture around and find a suitable gathering location.

Some members were reluctant, naturally eager to maintain their anonymity. But enough were willing to show their faces for my scheme to succeed.

In the hours leading up to the event that day, my body trembled with anticipation. Though my strong-willed wife dismissed it as my typical nervous, anxious self, I was excited and afraid: thrilled to put my plan into action and strike a blow against the white patriarchy, yet terrified that, upon seeing me face to face, they would somehow realize my true intentions.

Spending time at a fair-trade coffee shop, I waited until it was around the agreed upon time and left, standing at the steps of the gothic church. I admired its rainbow flag and calls for inclusivity on its sign board, saddened by what I knew must happen.

Gradually, they arrived until there was half a dozen or so. I gestured to make it known who I was, preparing myself for my duty. They couldn’t help but note the church’s flag and sign board, offering me the perfect opportunity to make my plans known.

Taking out a large piece of chalk, I began to deface the side of the church with a hate message. The young men around me laughed and chuckled: was it genuine, or were they masking their knowledge of my identity?

There was no way to tell. I had to continue.

I was still chalking the church wall when one of the young men approached me and suggested I stop. Sticking well to my faux persona, I chastised him for his lack of commitment to the cause. However, to my horror, the accusation did not dissuade him. He grew closer and insisted I stop. The others were quiet, and I sensed they were beginning to side with him.

I then accused him of being an infiltrator sent to undermine our morale.

This also failed; he came even closer.

Finally, he seized my arm and demanded I stop.

Furious, I pushed him back. He fell against the church steps and landed on his back, his face now fully revealed by the streetlight we had deliberately avoided.

Nothing prepared me for what I saw.

My son Kim looked at me, suddenly realizing who I was.

I was certain it was a mistake. Had he too come like me to infiltrate and eradicate this evil? Or was he one of them? Had I failed in my duty to all of mankind?

Somehow, Kim wasn’t fooled. He knew my intent.

For a moment, I hoped he would show himself to be on my side and compose himself. But his allegiance was made known as he told the others to flee, that it was all a trick.

I panicked as they ran into the darkness. They couldn’t leave! Not yet!

Retrieving the chalk, I was determined to finish the hate message. It had to be accomplished. But I soon found myself struggling on the ground with my son, who insisted his name was Thomas and he was proud of our Anglo-Saxon heritage.

Those words were more painful to bear than a knife wound to my side.

Despite my lack of physical fitness, I was able to throw him aside and complete the chalking before screaming at the top of my lungs. Kim wrestled me to the ground and struck me repeatedly in the face. I did not resist him. I pitied him. For all his physical strength, he was weak. Unlike myself, he was unable to control and tame his white male privilege despite all I had done.

More and more people gathered around us as we fought. I was able to throw him off before running toward the church wall and waving dramatically. Gasps reverberated from the crowd as police sirens hailed the arrival of those who would ensure my plan would succeed.

Now separated, my son and I looked at one another. I smiled. He then took off; everyone assumed he was a victim of a possible hate crime.

Officers confronted me. I yelled at them the hateful words now written on the church wall.

“It’s okay to be white!”

They were the last words I uttered as I was taken under arrest and placed in the back of a squad car, though quietly praying they would carry out against me the same brutality they did constantly against peoples of color. Nevertheless, I was exhilarated to finally know what it was like to be under the authority of the oppressor’s hand. I ignored all the screams and insults from onlookers as they pelted the car window with rocks and dirt.

It was only hours ago, but it has already felt like a lifetime.

From what I have heard, the media has already done its part by alerting the community to the threat of white patriarchy. Calls for action have been made by social leaders. The event has brought unity to the church whose wall I defaced. A rally outside the church is planned this very month.

So now you understand why I do not fret as I wait in this jail. One day, everyone will understand and appreciate my tactics. I have the utmost confidence that when the truth is revealed, my name and reputation will be restored.

But for now, I must maintain my silence on the matter. I must suffer for the sake of the Cause. That is my calling and my duty, the duty of all good white men. It is the white man’s burden.

Or….at least, that is what it should be.

Oh, curse it all! I cannot deny that within the deepest recesses of my soul…this whole ordeal of mine has really felt more like a privilege than anything else.