This is the paradigm shift that could stop racism

White people must seriously examine how they've managed to get through life without caring about racism.

ROBIN DIANGELO: The number one question I get when I give a talk is okay, okay, now what do I do? And that question has bothered me for a long time. One, to be really honest I think it's disingenuous. I don't think white people really want to know what to do unless it's the most simplistic thing which is just keeping friendly.

That question tends to function as a way to jump over the hard, personal work and just get to the answer or get to the solution. It's a little bit arrogant for folks who have never in their life thought deeply about this. And after an hour they want to get the answer and go fix it. At the same time we can't wait until we have it all figured out.

And so I will offer a challenging question back and then I will answer the 'what do we do?' So what I—my reply to that question is: What about your life has allowed you to be a full functioning professional educated adult and not know what to do about racism? How have you managed not to know? Why is that your question? People of color have been telling us this for a very long time. So that question is meant to be a challenge. It's also sincere. Take out a piece of paper and start writing down why you don't know. Probably on the first of your list is going to be I wasn't educated on this. Step one.

Two, I don't talk about race. Three, I don't really have relationships across race or not many. And when I do we don't talk about race. Five, I haven't cared enough.

There's your map and when you get to five, I haven't cared enough, if you can look at yourself in the mirror and say that then carry on as you always have but do it with honesty. If you can't look at yourself in the mirror and say I don't really care, great. Use that motivation to get involved. There's so much good information out there. My website is filled with lists and resources. So, probably the number one thing we could do next is take the initiative and go look it up.

I use this analogy sometimes. If you went to the doctor and the doctor said you have an acoustic neuroma, and then the doctor was called out on an emergency and left the room and the meeting ended. What would you do? Go home and Google the shit out of acoustic neuromas. Would you not? Would you watch every video you could? Would you get on every blog? Would you get on every Listserv? Would you even get a different opinion than whatever the doctor had given you? Yes. Why? Because you cared. I think it says something really profound about white people that just taking the initiative to look it up is somewhat revolutionary for us. But it is.

And I will never forget talking to a multiracial group and putting the question out to the people of color: "What would it be like if when white people ran their inevitable and often unaware racism, you could give us feedback on that and have us receive it with grace, reflect on the behavior, and seek to change it. What would that be like for you?" And I'll never forget this man of color raising his hand and saying it would be revolutionary.

And I just want my white listeners to take that in. Revolutionary. That's a pretty strong word for just receiving the feedback, reflecting, and seeking to change the behavior. That's how difficult we are, that that's a revolution. That's also how easy it is but we can't get there from the current paradigm. So work really hard to change your paradigm and not only will your interpersonal relationships change, so will our institutions because we will see that they do.

  • You can't jump over the difficult personal work required to examine your role in racism's presence in our society, says writer and consultant Robin DiAngelo.
  • Relying on easy answers from people around you won't solve the problem. DiAngelo compares this to your doctor delivering a diagnosis without an explanation. Wouldn't you take it upon yourself to learn about the ailment? Racism should be treated the same way.
  • Receiving feedback with grace, reflecting on it, and seeking to change the behavior should be the modus operandi for all white people. This process should not be revolutionary.

If you want to further your education on racism, you can access Robin DiAngelo's list of resources here.

    America of the 1930s saw thousands of people become Nazi

    Nazi supporters held huge rallies and summer camps for kids throughout the United States in the 1930s.

    Credit: Photo by FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images
    Politics & Current Affairs
    • During the 1930s, thousands of Americans sympathized with the Nazis, holding huge rallies.
    • The rallies were organized by the American German Bund, which wanted to spread Nazi ideology.
    • Nazi supporters also organized summer camps for kids to teach them their values.
    Keep reading Show less

    Coffee and green tea may lower death risk for some adults

    Tea and coffee have known health benefits, but now we know they can work together.


    Credit: NIKOLAY OSMACHKO from Pexels
    Surprising Science
    • A new study finds drinking large amounts of coffee and tea lowers the risk of death in some adults by nearly two thirds.
    • This is the first study to suggest the known benefits of these drinks are additive.
    • The findings are great, but only directly apply to certain people.
    Keep reading Show less

    Can you solve what an MIT professor once called 'the hardest logic puzzle ever'?

    Logic puzzles can teach reasoning in a fun way that doesn't feel like work.

    Credit: Shutterstock
    Mind & Brain
    • Logician Raymond Smullyan devised tons of logic puzzles, but one was declared by another philosopher to be the hardest of all time.
    • The problem, also known as the Three Gods Problem, is solvable, even if it doesn't seem to be.
    • It depends on using complex questions to assure that any answer given is useful.
    Keep reading Show less

    Why San Francisco felt like the set of a sci-fi flick

    But most city dwellers weren't seeing the science — they were seeing something out of Blade Runner.

    Brittany Hosea-Small / AFP / Getty Images
    Surprising Science

    On Sept. 9, many West Coast residents looked out their windows and witnessed a post-apocalyptic landscape: silhouetted cars, buildings and people bathed in an overpowering orange light that looked like a jacked-up sunset.

    Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast