Tag Archives: White people

12 Reasons Ending Racism is Good for White People

It’s a familiar bleeding-heart refrain sung in support of liberal initiatives, or to push back on conservatives: “Millions will suffer/are suffering! We can’t let this happen!” Lately we’re singing it a lot in response to hot topics like police shootings, poverty, the GOP’s proposed healthcare bill, and DeVos’s education budget. I was particularly struck by…

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The Dirty Secret of Racism: It Hurts White People Too

Imagine you work hard your whole life: at school, work and home.  You win some and you lose some, and at times it feels like there’s more losing than winning.  Life’s not easy, but you hang in there and follow most of the rules.  Some people are less kind than others, and your interactions with…

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Let Go of Perfect and Wear the Safety Pins Already

A week has passed since the election, and there’s been lively debate among progressives about whether or not to wear safety pins.  Initiated by an American living in the UK, the safety pin spread there as a protest against the BREXIT vote and the xenophobia it represented.  On this side of the pond, liberals have…

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Let’s Get it Right: Bigotry is Not Racism

The word “racist” is getting a lot of air time lately.  From Donald Trump to Black Lives Matter and the latest police shooting of an unarmed Black man, accusations of racism abound.  But there’s an important distinction missing from these accusations that’s keeping us stuck and stoking anger: bigotry is not racism. In my work…

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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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Strategically Increasing Diversity vs. “We’re Too White”

One of the many positive effects of #BlackLivesMatter and the broader visibility of police violence against black people in the U.S. is an increased motivation among white people and their organizations to do something. I recently had yet another conversation with an organizational leader about “doing something,” specifically “increasing our diversity,” which is code for…

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