What Can White People Do About Racism? Episode 199, August 18, 2020
The founder and CEO of Diversity Matters, Chris Miller, joins us to discuss the implications and costs of racism for white people and what they can do about it.
“By talking about it with each other and making some choices about it, we can actually do something actively to interrupt racism.” ~ Chris Miller
Can two white guys talking about race accomplish anything? Should we even be talking about this to begin with? Yes, and yes.
Racism is a heavy topic that many white people have avoided openly discussing for too long. We cover a lot of ground in this hour and I hope it encourages you to have similar conversations with your friends.
For more than 30 years, Chris Miller has been helping organizations reduce the gap between their stated desire for justice, equity, and inclusion and operational reality. Listen in and discover how a Catholic upbringing primed Chris for caring about social justice, the dangers of the shame and cancel culture, and the problems of white people saying, “I don’t see color.”
We discuss what maintains racism, the role of white males in alleviating it, the cost for white people of racism, and dehumanization, and why we need to be compassionate to both people of color and white people. Along the way, Chris shares his definitions of white privilege and white fragility as well as numerous deep insights from working on diversity for decades. By the end, you’ll understand how someone can still be optimistic while working on a problem they see as unsolvable.
Topics and Questions Include:
- (1:54) Does talking about race help anything?
- (3:36) Are two white males discussing racism somehow on the wrong track immediately?
- (4:37) What is the role of white males in alleviating racism?
- (6:17) We when first talked. you said we need to be compassionate to white people because of what we’ve caught. Can you expand on that?
- (9:05) What got you first interested in social justice?
- (12:23) Have you ever found yourself being dismissed for being white and talking about diversity?
- (16:46) What is White fragility?
- (20:39) What are the costs of racism for white people?
- (23:45) What sort of issue has a company reach out to you?
- (29:59) Is racial bias so unconscious, deep, and embedded that we’ll never eliminate it? How optimistic or pessimistic for society are you?
- (32:45) Do your tools and techniques benefit individuals, or do they work on the corporate structure?
- (36:53) Have you found some employees can’t stay on as an organizational culture changes?
- (40:53) I’ve seen many people of color say that not being racist isn’t enough; you must be anti-racist. What does anti-racist mean?
- (44:16) White people need to understand what’s in it for us; How our liberation and humanity are intimately connected to the liberation of people of color.
- (45:10) How does the dehumanization of anyone affect the white people doing it?
- (48:02) How do you define white privilege?
- (50:32) What can white people do about racism?
- (57:20) How to get in touch with Chris and Diversity Matters.
“Growing up, we are learning lots of lessons about who white people are and who people of color are. We are catching that from thousands and thousands of images every day throughout our life that has us form opinions about a racial hierarchy.” ~ Chris Miller
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Connect with Chris and learn more about his company, Diversity Matters, via email, email@example.com or phone, 781 771-6301. Chris is based in Massachusetts.
Check out the book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.
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