4 books on race in America everyone should read

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas shares the books that shaped his life.

Image: Big Think.
  • These books, from authors like Toni Morrison and John F. Kennedy, open up a whole new perspective on the American landscape.
  • Read Jose Antonio Vargas' groundbreaking essay on life as an undocumented migrant in The New York Times Magazine.
  • Jose shared his list of 4 books on race in America everyone should read at a recent ScribdChat in San Francisco
  • Vargas' memoir, Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

Are you courageous enough to collaborate with your enemies?

Unlikely allies can solve society's most complex problems.

  • Bishop Omar Jahwar has worked beside all kinds of unlikely allies, from Aryan Brotherhood gang leaders to former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
  • What is an enemy? A true enemy is rare, says Bishop Omar. "Enemies come when there is true violation, not true rhetoric... sometimes you have to go beyond the rhetoric so you can see the real."
  • You cannot solve deep problems from the comfort of an echo chamber—it takes courage. The key to courageous collaborations is meeting your so-called enemy to ask: "What do we fiercely agree upon? And let's work like hell to make it happen."
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less

Racial purity is “scientifically meaningless," say 8,000 geneticists

American geneticists take a stand against the misuse of their science by racists.

Milk chugging white supremacists.
  • The largest society of geneticists decries the distortion of ideas by racists.
  • Science does not support the concept of race.
  • Race is a social construct, explain the scientists.
Keep reading Show less

Being nice is not going to end racism

Robin DiAngelo explains how well-intentioned white people uphold systemic racism.

  • All that racism needs to keep going is for white people to keep being nice, says Robin DiAngelo. Being nice is better than the alternative, of course—but ask: What else am I doing to end racial inequality?
  • "But I have friends of color" is a deflection device, not a real way to engage in productive dialogue about systemic racism.
  • It's difficult for white people hear and, in DiAngelo's experience, many people will reject the idea of systemic racism and how they may benefit from it simply because it is too uncomfortable.
  • For the white people who want to push through this issue, the biggest thing they can do is recognize internalized superiority.

Harvard’s race-based college admissions trial begins Monday

The lawsuit could someday reach the Supreme Court and change the way the nation's universities approach college admissions practices.

Photo via iStock/marvinh
  • The lawsuit claims Harvard University discriminates against Asian American students, who currently constitute 22.9 percent of the freshman class.
  • Harvard denies the allegations, arguing that its admissions practices don't discriminate against anyone.
  • The plaintiffs are backed by the Trump administration. Harvard is backed by multiple student organizations, including the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian-American Association.
Keep reading Show less