What does “white anti-racist” mean? How can guilt get in the way? And what’s all this talk about being “colorblind”? Teaching Tolerance asked community activists to share their thoughts on these questions, and others. Their answers shine light on the concepts of comfort, power, privilege and identity.
Read the following panel discussion on race and social justice, and then address the following discussion questions.
1. Guilt and white privilege, these activists say, can sometimes get in the way of white people being effective allies in the struggle against racism. What qualities or actions can help white people be effective allies?
2. The activists all reject the idea of “colorblindness.” Many people contribute the “goal” of colorblindness to a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Was Dr. King advocating that people ignore color? Ignore racism? Why?