Note to readers: This is an excellent speech by anti-racist educator Tim Wise. I’m only writing down some notes on one part of his talk below (with time stamps).

White Denial – 13:20

13:20-15:30 – White Americans are twice as likely to believe that Elvis is still alive than to believe that racial discrimination is still a significant problem.

15:50 – It’s easy to acknowledge racism in the past, like the ’60s.

17:00 – In the 1960s, 80% of white people said Black people were treated fairly. 90% of white people said Black children received an equal education to white children’s.

“In every generation, members of the dominant group have said there is no problem, and in every generation, without fail, we have been wrong. And in every generation, people of Color — those who were the targets of that oppression and subordination — have said there is a problem, and in every generation, without fail, they have been right.

“So the question for us today is what are the odds, honestly, that people of Color, who have never gotten it wrong, have suddenly lost their frickin’ minds, and have suddenly become unable to see truth and to separate it from fiction — and counter to that, what are the odds that white folks who have never gotten it right yet have suddenly become highly, highly perceptive.

The odds are pretty long. And again it’s not because white folks are insensitive or hard-hearted, let alone stupid, but it is that those of us who are white have the luxury of not knowing Black and Brown truth.”