May 28, 2019

Excerpt 4 from "White Fragility"

Previously: 1, 2, 3

Questions for white people, on p. 35 of my copy:

Did your parents tell you that race didn’t matter and that everyone was equal? Did they have many friends of color?

If people of color did not live in your neighborhood, why didn’t they? Where did they live? What images, sounds, and smells did you associate with these other neighborhoods? What kind of activities did you think went on there? Were you encouraged to visit these neighborhoods, or were you discouraged from visiting these neighborhoods?

What about schools? What made a school good? Who went to good schools? Who went to bad schools?

If the schools in your area were racially segregated (as most schools in the United States are), why didn’t you attend school together? If this is because you lived in different neighborhoods, why did you live in different neighborhoods? Were “their” schools considered equal to, better than, or worse than, yours?

If there was busing in your town, in which direction did it go; who was bused into whose schools? Why did the busing go in one direction and not the other?

If you went to school together, did you all sit together in the cafeteria? If not, why not?

Were the honors or advanced placement classes and the lower-track classes equally racially integrated? If not, why not?

Now think about your teachers. When was the first time you had a teacher of the same race as yours? Did you often have teachers of the same race as your own?