What White People Need To Learn

Above all, such an education might help answer the question of whose problem modern racism really is. The current divide is a White construction, and it is up to White people to do the necessary work to dismantle the system borne from the slave trade, instead of ignoring it or telling Black people to “get over” its extant legacy. Critics of White studies have claimed that this kind of inquiry leads only to self-hatred and guilt. Leaving aside that avoiding self-reflection out of fear of bad feelings is the direct enemy of personal and intellectual growth, I agree that such an outcome should be resisted, because guilt is an unproductive emotion, and merely feeling guilty is satisfying enough for some. My hope in writing this is that White Americans will discover how it is they came to be set apart from non-Whites and decide what they plan to do about it.

So, yes, for one month, let’s hear about White history, educating ourselves and others. Let’s expose Whiteness as a fraudulent schema imposed as a means to justify economic and physical bondage. Let’s try to uncover the centuries-old machinations that inform current race relations and bind us in a stalemate of misunderstanding. Then let’s smash this whole thing to pieces.


By: Mary-Alice Daniel


The History Of Racism