Reader's view: Preconceived ideas about race prevent honest dialogI was first made aware Duluthians are racist in the 1960s when I also was introduced to the concept of white privilege. Right up to the Jan. 24 story, “Coalition launches anti-racism campaign,” I was reminded Duluthians continue to be racist.
I was first made aware Duluthians are racist in the 1960s when I also was introduced to the concept of white privilege. Right up to the Jan. 24 story, “Coalition launches anti-racism campaign,” I was reminded Duluthians continue to be racist.
So, by definition, I’m a racist.
Also, as the article pointed out, I’m unaware I’m racist due to my white privilege and my defensiveness when my racism is pointed out, suggesting anything I say on this point can be discounted.
I’m in a double bind: A powerful expert has said I’m wrong, I don’t know it, and I’ve done nothing to change it. But let’s talk.
As an average Duluth racist, I find it difficult to participate in honest dialog about race if those leading the discussion have a preconceived idea that I am, and cannot be anything but, an unreconstructed racist, and/or they have a vested interest in maintaining my status as a racist. Asking me to support a campaign that headlines with a defaced white person suggests I must endure a psychological slap before I can participate.
Failure to balance discussions of new anti-racism campaigns with what has been done personally and by the community to address racism and, through consensus, coming to what needs to be done, suggests new efforts are beginning on the wrong foot.
As we talk of white privilege let’s also talk of black responsibility. What are the root causes of the achievement gap about which we hear so much? What are integration specialists, and what, if any, impacts are they having on Duluth schools?
I have concerns the Un-Fair Campaign is another feel-good project that preaches to the choir and paradoxically supports racism as it focuses on one side of the issue, holding all power and responsibility to change.
But what can you expect from just another Duluth racist.
James A. Holter