When Affirmative Action Was White…or, Nothing’s Changing Until White People Do the Basic Reading

I have some speaking engagements coming up and I’m re-reading some writings that matter to me as a way of setting my mind in the direction I need to go. This re-reading got me to thinking.

Dismantling white supremacy takes some basic knowledge. The longer I am around liberal/progressive whites, one thing becomes patently clear: white people haven’t done the basic reading. And nothing is going to change until that changes.

Why? Because the ignorance of basic history gets in the way of proper analysis of the current situation.

Take the book that is the title of this post. How many of you have read it?

How many of you have read How the Irish Became White?

(for those of you who are part of one of my religious affiliations) How many of you have read Frances Ellen Watkins Harper? And why is she talked about more in non-liberal religious circles than she is within?

Do you know who Anna Julia Cooper is without going to Google?

(and for God’s sake) Have you read Du Bois?

Nothing is going to change until the majority of white people (especially those who say they are liberal/progressive) do the basic reading. Otherwise, we will continue to stay in the “Anti-Racism 101” loop.

This is not the last time I’ll talk about the basic reading, but that’s it for now.

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