While a lot of my professional energy is spent on client work and PR, I’ve been very excited about some recent writing assignments that have come my way. For instance, I just filed a story for Austin Woman Magazine for their February issue featuring author and professor Barbara Trepagnier who wrote a fascinating book called Silent Racism: How Well-Meaning White People Perpetuate the Racial Divide. Barbara, a late bloomer in the academic world, is a lovely Southern white lady who embraced this area of sociology as a natural extension of her studies in feminism. She also admits she is racist. Let me explain… here are some of the highlights she describes:
- Race awareness in well-meaning white people—including racial progressives—is both sorely lacking and a crucial piece of the racism puzzle.
- Well-meaning white people who are passive around others’ racism encourage it, whether or not they intend to.
- Slavery and segregation have been transformed into a less obvious structure: institutional racism.
- Race awareness entails understanding three facets of racism: the history of racism in the U.S., how institutional racism operates, and insight into one’s own silent racism and passivity.
- Both silent racism and passivity in well-meaning white people are instrumental in producing institutional racism.
- Throughout U.S. history a small group of white Americans has stood against the racist institutions of their day.
Again, look for the interview in the Feb. issue of Austin Woman Magazine.