Tag Archives: race

Los Angeles 1992: A Personal Reflection on the Riots

Aging is strange. It’s strange to have memories that are decades old – older than the very lives of many people I know, work with and pass on the streets. I’m still getting used to the fact I know things from firsthand experience, not just books or elders. I’m still getting used to my memories…

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How I Learned To Love Black People: Confessions Of A Good White Person

I read the title of this piece and feel uneasy. I can already hear the voices of my confused friends, my protesting colleagues and the bigots.  I’m writing it anyway.  More honesty is what’s needed to heal and move forward, and honesty requires courage. On paper I look like a model “Good White Person.” I’ve…

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6 Reasons Why “All Lives Matter” Is Neither Fair Nor Helpful

One week: Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Dallas.  Finally, the number of White people moved to action against racism is reaching a tipping point, yet tired clichés like “violence isn’t the answer” and “we must unite” threaten to keep us stuck.  “All Lives Matter” is perhaps the kindest and least helpful of these clichés, to the…

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‘The 6 C’s’ to Showing Up as a White Ally

Trying to be a good white person can be frustrating, challenging and downright bewildering.  White people have few role models — outside bigots and hate groups — on how to talk about race, behave with people of color, or be a white ally and doing so in the workplace is extra daunting because of the fear of…

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Should White People Do Diversity Work?

As a multilingual, culturally and racially ambiguous woman who’s been doing some form of diversity work for almost 25 years, I occasionally find myself having awkward conversations with potential clients about my identity. These conversations involve questions like, “Are you diverse?” or “Wait, you’re White?” or statements like “Thank you, but we’re looking for a…

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Dear White People: Exactly What Are We So Afraid Of?

Dear White People: I’m one of you, and I just don’t understand you some times. I understand you less and less lately.  When I heard of outcry over Beyoncé’s halftime performance, I was confused.  Did I  miss a titillating wardrobe malfunction due to some broadcast delay?  Had I been so preoccupied by Queen Bey’s big…

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“No labels” is Part of the Problem

American rapper and activist Prince Ea’s spoken-word piece “I Am NOT Black, You Are NOT White” is a gorgeous work of art with a powerful message: We are not our labels. We are not the terms that society assigns us. Who we truly are is deeper than how we look. This sounds like the remedy…

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Rachel Dolezal’s Transracial Deception: It’s Personal

For the last week, I’ve been unwillingly fixated on the Rachel Dolezal story. More people than normal have been asking my opinion and struggling with confusion. I’ve been struggling myself with writing this piece for days. Why? It’s personal. I could have been Rachel Dolezal. I am transcultural. Like Dolezal, my story begins early in…

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Unconscious Bias Training Is Anti-Racism Training

Unconscious bias training is in. It’s neat; it incorporates lots of cool new science. It’s sexy; it incorporates lots of cool images and eye opening exercises. It’s trendy; all the cool kids are doing it. And it’s safe; no one talks about racism. That’s where the legitimate criticism comes in. As with other “in” diversity…

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White people owe Black people a tremendous debt – still unpaid

It took me over a year to feel ready to see 12 Years a Slave. Two weeks ago I finally saw the Oscar winner. It was as brutal and stunning as I expected, and I sobbed through most of the last 15 minutes. On a roll, I watched The Butler a couple days later, and…

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