Prof to all white Americans: Admit your ‘racist poison’
Professor George Yancy of Emory University published “Dear White America” as a “gift” for white people. His challenge: “White America, are you prepared to be at war with yourself, your white identity, your white power, your white privilege?”
Yancy, a black professor, told Times readers Dec. 24 that, just as he considers himself sexist, all white people should admit to possessing latent racism.
“I can see your anger. I can see that this letter is being misunderstood. This letter is not asking you to feel bad about yourself, to wallow in guilt. That is too easy. I’m asking for you to tarry, to linger, with the ways in which you perpetuate a racist society, the ways in which you are racist,” said Yancy.
“I am asking you to enter into battle with your white self. I’m asking that you open yourself up; to speak to, to admit to, the racist poison that is inside of you. […] As you reap comfort from being white, we suffer for being black and people of color. But your comfort is linked to our pain and suffering.”