|Participants & Teachers|
Along with my classmates and teachers, we have explored the following topics:
- choice and access to services
- divisions caused by race and economics
- awareness of who we live, work, and socialize with
- white shame
- the difference between patronage and partnership
- safety in private and public places
- the cost of racism
- differences and similarities
- fears and assumptions
- cross-cultural connections
I am a racist. When we meet, I always notice color.
I am not a racist. When we connect, I don't notice color because I care about you and what's happening in our world.
A young thin white male store clerk handling a return asked unanswerable questions required by the store. The nearby middle-aged, heavyset black employee keyed in what the store system required and instructed the clerk how to proceed. I was surprised. Shame on me.
I am a racist until we connect at a level of sharing thoughts and feelings with interest and caring for each other.
I wrote this poem:
who you are,
and where you have come from.
You have gifts
that you have not even recognized as gifts.
You have taken for granted your skin
your safety in coming and going
your lack of fear.
You have not had to fight
for these gifts.
those who have
lived without a battle
because they were born
shades darker than yourself.
Brown, at times,
was not beautiful.
But was mocked
Is that history in each
black person you meet?
But know that
somewhere in their family
a mother, father
aunt, or grandfather--
did not have the
same gifts as you.
For a thought-provoking article on white privilege, read Peggy McIntosh's article, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack."