Remedying Racial Inequity

There is a lot to think about in this video lecture by David C. Wilson, Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy from Robert Reich’s Wealth and Poverty class at U.C. Berkeley. It’s about the science behind racial resentment and justice. It surprised me by alluding to psychological similarities between people who want to keep our structurally racist systems and people to want to get rid of them – both appeal to a sense of fairness but with very different results.

“Why We Need Racial Literacy Now More Than Ever” | Teaching While White

I am at the beginning of working on my own responses (external and internal) to white supremacy. I’d say that Teaching While White looks like a promising program. If a teacher (or any adult, really) is willing to be open and doesn’t freeze in fear of “doing it wrong” — a reaction I’m trying to root out in myself — it can lead to greater understanding and, hopefully, personal and societal transformation.

One of my favorite comments was, “But, Elizabeth, I don’t get it. If this started like almost 200 years ago, why would someone STILL think it was OK to do this after they had been told it was bad?” And then one student concluded, “I think blackface makes white people look bad.”

My thoughts exactly. But then I said, “Well, maybe they didn’t learn about all this when they were kids.”

Gasps around the circle.