tv After Words Robin Di Angelo Nice Racism - How Progressive White People... CSPAN August 30, 2021 1:01am-2:01am EDT
>> robin d'angelo looks at how well intentioned what people can inadvertently cause racial harm through what shecalls a culture of niceness .she's interviewed by arthur and princeton university professor of african-american studies. afterwards is a weekly interview program with relevant guests host interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work . >> i'm so delighted to have this opportunity to sit down and talk with you . if i maycall you robin . >> thank you so much, it's an honor. >> i want to begin with it seems like a basic question but it's a moment in the book where you are actually dealing with the kind of tension between class and race. and you told your story.
and i thought it's really important to find to begin with your journey to this work. tell a little bit about you. and the way in which your upbringing shaped how you approach antiracist education . >> sure. i'll talk about the aspects of my life and upbringingthat i think is so relevant to the work i do today . two pieces and one i'm not sure i write about in the book and that is my mother died when i was 11 years old. she died of leukemia. this was the late 50s, early 60s. at that time you didn't talk about those things. it probably seems shocking to people today but cancer was a shameful thing. and we were told not to speak about it and when she died we were told not to talk about it. afterwards either. so it was a traumatic experience for me but i don't think it had to be that
traumatic if we had been able to talkabout it . i was 11 years old. so from an early age i couldn't have articulated it this way at that time but i did understand the relationship between violence and suffering. there was this huge elephant in the room and my god, i couldn't talk about that then i'm going to talk about this elephant now. i also grew up in poverty because my mother was a single mother, struggling with cancer. she couldn't keep a job. she couldn't keep us housed. we were often left with strangers for long times. she couldn't keep us fed were based. i'm quite sure that i wasn't clean as a child. and i have a lot of shame and i'll never forget that moment that all of that crystallized for me when she took us, my sisters and i to visit another friend, some friends
and as often happens when the ppadults to get together the children begin to play and we were playing and it came time to leave and i was the last one out the door. i overheard one of the little girls ask their mother what's wrong with them? that was the literal question she asked, what's wrong with them and i stopped . riveted. i wanted to hear theanswer. her mother went like this , therefore. and i won't ever forget that moment. i even feel chilled now because it was when i realized there's something about us that's shameful. and everyone can see it but nobody should speak of it. and i shared that the cause when i realized much later in life chthat i participated in somebody else's oppression, that was unbearable to me. i cannot know the black experience but i can into the shame of poverty, and discrimination based on being
poor. not wanting to contribute in a form of that for anybody else. i also always knew i was white. and i just have to look at what people who are poor or working-class and say they don't have privilege and i have to say, on . i always knew i was white. i always knew it was better to be white. and in fact, we used like people to ameliorate some of our class shame. ican remember being hungry, being out in public and apart and seeing food left out and reaching for that food . and being admonished not to touch h it because you don't know who touched it, could have been the language of the time was colored person. don't sit there, you don't know who's out there. couldhave been a colored person . the message was clear, had a colored person that would be dirty. now, i was actually dirty.
but in those moments i wasn't poor anymore. i wasn't shameful anymore. it is a form of projecting our dirt and shame on two blackpeople . and it was a way that we aligned ourselves or i would say realigned our self with the dominant whiteculture that are poverty separated us from . i don't have less racism because i grew up poor, i just learned my placein the racial hierarchy . and from a different class position that i would have learned it had i been middle-class. i would have learned there too, just different lessons would havecome for me . >> i thought it important they are to give a sense of your own journey. the way which your usual biography as a way to disrupt the kinds of in some ways. economies to class and race which is the most important and phenomenal advice. but i think it's important we
start with your story. that there is a journey to this work. now, tell us a little bit about how white fragility changed your life. this, the former book was this extraordinary hit, new york times bestseller, number one. how has it transformed you because a lot of this story in the new book coming out of your travels around the country doing this extraordinary work . around that. particularly like what people who experienced a form of oppression in their lives, of course we don't experience racial oppression but other forms and for a lot of us, we've thought long and deep about how unjust life is for us. rarely, i was in my 30s before i ever considered how i benefited. and that in a large part my wetness allowed me to navigate my poverty.
i didn't go to collegeuntil i was in my 30s . but of course once i got there, i fit in. i was reflectedeverywhere by all my teachers, by the curriculum . and i graduated not knowing what i can do and got this position as what we called in the 90s adiversity trainer . i've been doing this kind of work now for about 25 years. i went on to get my phd in writing and publishing on racism and white racial identity for decades. but mostly in academia and i know you're an academic and you know does anybody read the peer-reviewed articles we write? sometimes. maybe gradstudents . i had written the article white fragility about that frustration of trying to talk to whitepeople about racism .
so being a diversity trainer, going day in and day out, going against my socialization which most white people are taught not to talk about racism and every day i walked intorooms filled with white people and say we're going to talk about racism . simost often tending side-by-side with a black cofacilitator who was the only person of color in most of those rooms and just being stunned at the hostility of the conversation . at the meanness. i mean, we can be really mean on this topic and driving home that cofacilitator and bearing witness is part of being white means never having to bear witness to the pain of racism on black people and rarely being held accountable to the pain that you've caused black people . so that experience of academia brought me to be writing and somebody
somewhere quoted from white agility the article and it exploded. i apparently captured in language the dynamic that has been familiar certainly to black people but also once i named it so many white people and it's harder to deny a shared experience. so i was getting emails from around the world about that. about that article and i knew that it would be useful to develop it more thoroughly and to make it acceptable because it's an academic speak. we know how to do that, it's not my favorite way to write what you have to do it in academia. i wanted to make it accessible. leand in more plain language. so i went to a nonacademic publisher, a nonprofit publisher, beacon press.
i knew there would be an audience for the book based on the reaction to the article but who could dream it's still on the list in three years, who coulddream of that . , i wasn't prepared for the depth of backlash fromall sides of the spectrum. i expected it from the right . you expect that, that doesn't really get to you in the same way. but i didn't expect it to that degree from the left. so that's been a process. >> that's interesting that you didn't expect it from the left . and there's this sense in which the left is not, i wouldn't want to say it, i don't want to generalize but i think they're caught in the crosshairs of this book. there's a sense in which i remember this moment when boldin when was testifying he before congress. and he said something to the
effect that he was skeptical of the white liberal. skeptical of those who wanted to do something for him as opposed to with him. and he had seen how white liberals asresponded to the cold war, to the mccarthy era and how they betrayed and you cite baldwin as well as doctor king's letter fromthe birmingham jail at the beginning of the book . so say a little bit about nice racism, what is this and who are these people who are the nice racists that you're talkingto . >> it's me. we have to start with the basics foundation of this: racism. so let's just received from that premise that racism occurs in explicit acts it's actually a structure that infused across society. and it is the norm.
it's not an aberration. it's reproduced 24 seven 365. it's a highly adaptive system look where we are with voters rights . we bought in 1965 we settled back. and wearing a very serious place right now. so it adapts to challenges and it keeps on keeping on . so if it is a system, we're all shaped by it. we are all shaped by it. and so for those of us who are whites we have to change our question from if i've been shaped by this system to how have i been shaped by it. you cannot be exempt from the cultural water that you swimin . so nice racism is meant to capture the well intended white progressives. the moderates who is more concerned with a lack of conflict.
who's more concerned with comfort and saving face and racial injustice. there's so much handwringing about what people feeling guilty. for me that's a great example . oh my goodness, whatpeople may feel something unpleasant . in looking at racism and we're going to compare that to what we watched in front of our own eyes this summer with george floyd and ahmad are very and so forth. so the reason i say that the in king's term was moderate. i think in baldwinsville was liberal and today we say progressive. i actually think we do the most daily harm. and i don't want to speak for you, you can correct me or anybody if i misspeak. but odds are on a daily basis you're not interacting with white nationalists. and if you are interacting with white nationalists
you're aware that that's who you're interacting with and to some way you know how to protectyourself . on a daily basis, especially in academia. you are most likely interacting with colleagues just like me. and we are the ones that send you home often exhausted. those thousand daily cuts, that maddening insidious, i can't get my fingers on this but yet again, we've reproduced racism in our outcomes, in our hiring and in our policies . so it's a more subtle, is the smileon the face . it's the tgas lighting. it's thedenying . >> you invoke guilt and inthe book you make a distinction between shame and guilt, talk about that . >> in just a condensed version, guilt is generally what you feel about something you've done and feel
responsiblefor. and shame is generally something you feel that you've inherently are . so is i did that. and shame is i am back. andmy area of scholarship is discourse analysis so language is political, language is not objective, it's not neutral. perception.apes so i'm very attentive to how we frame conversations and how we position ourselves in conversations and i notice white progressives, those who would voluntarily attend a talk or watch a video like this will talk about feeling shame and i don't know what to do. i feel so ashamed but not guilt and that's interesting to me.that's worthy of note. and as a sociologist i think patterns are rich sources of insight. so how does this function?
if i feel guilty, i'm responsible for something and reparative action would be to somehow address what i have done. if i feel shame i just am bad and there's nothing i can do. i'm absolving from responsibility and shame tends to elicit sympathy, support. if i say i feel shame, most people around me will reassure me e. no, number nobody nobody should feel shame, we're all inherently good. this is a popular ncprogressive mantra. t so it functions in the environment in ways that actually i think garner more social capital. >> in some ways you use more the relation the fact that i feel thbad establishes that i'm actually a decent person.
i'm a good person. but you know what's interesting is as you know in certain kind of political theory circles the absence of shame in our politics that represents a certain kind of problem so chris lebron writes about the fact that people thought that shame could actually move from around . there's no feeling shame, that on the right heis the absence of shame that allows them to do xy and z. and it seems to me after reading nice racism it's the prevalence of shame. on the left is binary but it'sthe prevalence on the sleft . the prevalence of shame on the left that actually enables in certain interesting ways. i found this talk about the feeling of guilt as really kind of critical intervention because there seems to be always at least in my work and in my conversation not in
the zone that you're in by any stretch of the imagination but there is this sense in which we cannot sit in our comfort because we find ourselves not only feeling guilty but shame. and feeling a sense that we're not in fact decent and that comes up works so that we can't get to where we want to be. >> shame is a very unpleasant feeling. so with guilt, shame is the worst. can we, can we block up, can we bear it, can we build our capacity to be feel it and move through it and that's the change key.there is a has never hat failed me in my efforts to unpack. how do we keep getting out? every white person you talk to even those who are caught on camera engaging in racism will claim that they are not. then how do we keep ilgetting racists?
racism without racism. so the question that has really served me in trying to figure that out is not is it right or wrong. is it right or wrong that you feel shame western mark know. that we could split hairs over forever. it's how does it function and how does it function in context and if it functions to motivate you to build your capacity to move through it, to change the way you understand what you said, then it's functioning in a constructive way. but if it's functioningexcuse your inaction , to be the reason you don't engage, to cause everyone around you to walk on eggshells and be so careful and don't say this and don't say that andit's functioning to protect the racist status quo . >> so chapter 5, it's the
longest chapter inthe book . and it is a detailed accounting of what you call the moves ofwhite progressives . and i found it fascinating. the credentialing from outsourcing. and i was thinking about it in the context of some ofthe debates we saw . in the bernie sanderscampaign . between bernie sanders the campaign and the black lives matter or some of the conversations we overheard with occupy wall street. that's the very moment occupy is taking off black lives matter is taking off and we were wondering some of us like work these things coming together and it's like abolitionism. why are they going in separate directions. talk a little bit about the moves of white progressivism and why you thought it was so important to lay out because i didn't have language to say oh, that's what that was.
it's fascinating, that seems, talk about that gap and lay out why it's in some ways at the heart of the book. >> i appreciate you if i understand you correctly acknowledging that you've experienced these moves. you've been on the receiving end of these moves. i am an educator and i think one of the things i'm affected by his breaking it down and showing what it looks like. you know, here's how i can yhelp you understand what you're doing and how it's functioning. so the book is about the ways in which we perpetrate racial harm, then i need to make that very clear. and i've been observing it, receiving it, participating in it, i'm not outside anything i write about for 20+ years .
so i just wanted the opportunity to say all right , let's take it apart. what do we do? credentialing is a big one because it's so predictable. at the moment a white progressive encounters a black person or is engaging across race they're going to need to feel a need to establish that they're not racist. and unfortunately most of the ways we seek to do that are not remotely convincing.g. i've been in enough conversation with black colleagues and friends will are like our eyes are rolling on the inside. another piece would be your making a fool of yourself. we're making a full for your self. i'd want to know if i came out of the bathroom and my skirt was tucked up into my pantyhose and my bottom was showing and you came up to me and said heads up, it's visible. i would be like thank you so
much and pull my skirt down. i wouldn't say how dare you, no it isn't and everybody better proceed as if they don't see anything. and of course that's white fragility but i see 2 overall categories in credentialing of colorblind. white stressors are less likely togo into colorblind . and have you noticed how often white people willuse proximity to black people as their evidence that they are free of racism ? i have a black roommate in college. i went to this school. iworked on a diverse team . i've traveled the world. i live in a big city, therefore i have proximity and when i try to help people deal with that i say okay, if your evidence that you're not racist is that you can tolerate proximity, you can walk down the street and a large major city and passed
by people and not lose it, then in order for that to be good evidence, it has to not be possible by somebody who's racist. otherwise that's not good evidence . so apparently, racists can't have proximity to black people and i think right now we see that's ridiculous . that's absurd. we can go all the way back two days of enslavement and jim crow and quite clear that white racists have proximity, pretty intimate proximityat times to black people . and so i want them to see what they're doing when they do that. that they're not convincing anybody. and to reveal the underlying framework that they're operating from.
we just cannot get where we need to go from that framework that says racism consists of individual acts of intentional meanness. that's most white people's definition. it's why most white people will say they're not racist and why to support their case their friends willsay how nice they are . she's a nice guy, he can't be racist. those things are mutually exclusive. >> i had this experience recently on television with my good friend senator claire mccaskill. senator blunt from missouri to describe for the people act. and senator mansion, amendments or his version or response to it. and the stacy abrams endorsed manchin compromise was described as the stacy abrams bill and someone said
k obviously what he's trying to do is putblackface on this . and the response was he's not embracing this, he's a nice guy. that was exactly this language. talk about this because a lot of folks are experiencing this i had a thought there about that again. >> it flew out, that's why i think. okay, so outspoken is a move that white people often make to show i'm more down than you are. i know more about this than you do and i've got a lot of it. i read your book so now i'm actually more down than you and i'm with to call you out on it, i've been studying this for three months and i'm going to tell robin d'angelo how wrong she is.
sometimes i'll go to youtube and i'll see something, five reasons why robin d'angelo is wrong . and the top one will be she says all white people are racist, can you believe that ? what i want to ask every white person to do is take a moment and define for yourself what is the criteria by which you would grant that somebody is racist. what is the criteria? idon't think many white people have thought deeply about that . if your astounded i would say allwhite people are racist , tell me what you think it takes and it's probably going to come down to some version cof individual conscious meanness across race. and that framework, that paradigm just couldn't be more effective at protecting racism. because if one exempts virtually all white people. guarantees the sensitiveness . guarantees that then nice
people couldn't possibly participate and then we endup with racism without racists . and so let me just be clear i said. when i say all white people are racist what i mean is that we live in a society in which it is infused, racist ideology is circulating all the time. the vast majority of white people lived segregated lives and not only feel no loss about that which for me is the deepest message of all that i could go cradle to grave as most white people will with no authentic sustained relationship with white people. and not only not feel anything of value is been missing but defined my wife as gaining value from the absence of blacks. >> really a key point. >> like, what's the good school, what's a good
neighborhood. what's happening when the neighborhood is ? what's happening when it's g coming down? what are we talking about when a violent crime happens and somebody has to stay on camera you wouldn't believe that would ever happen here. you already know what kind of neighborhood we're talking about and it begs the question should that happen ? so. >> .. they are treated with generalized disregard. and this is not -- it is sustained over time to how we
have habituated. to live these racial habits are the heart of our way of living. when i read those, i never really thought about it in this way. we know our social groups are homogeneous for the most part. people talk about network racism. the fact our networks are so homogeneous opportunities are passed along. other networks because they arebe robust. there is a sense in which this segregated world, which of course all of these have an advantage. almost as you put it earlier
this is the water you swimming you cannot come out of that. reminds me of the moment, the hidden rule racism comes in as natural as a language as a kentucky boring guy. works i do such an important point in such a s sticking point. this gets us up against an ideology which causes lots of, you don't know me how can you say anything about me? it's true i don't know all of you. i do not know most of the white people and talk about. that is on each individual white person to look at how have i been shaped by by this? what is my class position what is my gender, i'm just going
to go here,su white supremacy the idea that white is the stand in for human, the ideal human. the further you were away from that standard the less human, it's an argument about species until the further you are away from that whiteness that's why a change question from if to how. on the guinea moment argued the moment baby is born in the declaration is made boy or girl, a whole set of socialization kicks in and you cannot avoid it. the black at the gym blanket they wrap you in shaped by
whatever gender they see you as. you can resist it going to have to resist it every step of the way from everyone you meet. bill responded to you consciously or not as a mail or female. these are big challenge but nobody can be exempt. we think weac can be exempt from racial distancing. if it's helpful i would had a thought white folks are listening saying that he just said he lives a segregated life overall to most of his friendships. yes, the differences, black
asses that were forced on black people. this idea people prefer to live with their own, i don't think some people prefer to live with her own with all of the resources and some preferred none of the resources. now it seems natural, it is a result of the policies. we were not sitting at a table as a group of people making decisions that affect my life. my group is sitting at that table making decisions that affect your life. you see the governor of georgia surrounded by other gwhite men citing the restrictions with the plantation behind him? biden's administration will be the most diverse administration we've had. but not one person listening right now is raised in a society in which biden's
administration. all of our positioning does not unravel the moment there is some diversity in front of us. the people enacting these other you and i can be having this conversation on a college campus who has the power to ban in this conversation question or not your group my group. >> just listening to you reminds me of a moment in the book i found really interested. these are deeply personal moments my social grouping is predominantly black they are people of color. because it is exhausting at times. right? and then you have to make the decision, you wrote about this in the book. people who are in your close circle who happen to be white, who are white let's make a distinction. there is a distinction between
being white and happening to be white, let's make that distinction. you have to make a decision in those moments, to i risk our friendship to tell him or her what she just did or what he just did? do iax just let that slide or joy let that movee on? do i have to interpret today, that is always be asked why a, b, c. there's not only the kind of broad question or issues you describe, there's also the internal demands that are placed on relationships, interracial relationships. i got this sense in your own book when you found yourself doing certain things you would call your black friendsri and say we do similar work they
would have to walk you through it. what kind of labor that is, that is a visual kind of labor. does that maket sense? >> there are two concepts that are useful to me here. that refers to chronic stressors. lots of people carry load. but racial weathering is the result that is due to the stress of living in a society in which systemic racism is the foundation. i just said that thing is coming from a racist assumption. i am oblivious to it too. i had a great time at the party. you are spring this hours agonizing is it worth the cost to her? will i risk losing the relationship?
it's not worth it, often the punishment gets worse notie better. that's why i see white fragility in the white racial bullying. a form of every date racial control, we have this interaction have to decide if it's worth it to talk to me that you decide no it's not i've got to get to the day i've got to take care m of my family at home. and so i did not get called and i was not accountable racism got to fly you got to bear the brunt of it and we keep on keeping on with the meat comfortable in you being uncomfortable. i want to share a powerful moment that drives this home. i was in a group back in the
day white fragility in all of these dynamics, i said how often have you tried to get a white person feedback on our inevitable and often unaware racist habits and assumptions and how did that go well for you? they laughed, they rolled their eyes. the number one response is never. the number two response is or rarely. i f followed up, what if you could just give us that feedback? and have us receive it with grace,ch reflect and seek to change our behavior. what would that be like? i would never forget thiss black man raised his hand that it will be revolutionary. revolutionary is a really
strong word. that is how difficult white people are. that is a freak and, if i may, revolution. give use the feedback and have us receive it with grace, reflect and seek to change. that is how difficult we are. on the other hand that does not seemed like a very tall order, it really doesn't it is a tall order from c the current paradigm. it's his only bad people can be racist. that guarantees i'm going to have to defend myself you are going to be in the position. >> this is a wonderful way of panning out. the work speaks to the cross racial interrelational interaction how they run aground in the moment they're
not seeing themselves they understand each other. we are in a moment we are seeing these work as a macro center at tim scott declares is not a racist country. vice president kamala harris echoes without a racist country will we have to deal with, okay another kind of moment, critical race theory as the catchall phrase the 1619 project about our beginnings, about who we are, confronting our wrongdoings and the like. and we see the depth see the
intensity of the response reading, interpersonal relationship bring the two together for me. talk about nice racist and where we are as a country in this moment i think it's a momentos of incredibly amplified efforts every inch of black has been met by white rage is blocking a critical race theory is a blocking of what
happened this summer there was woken and galvanized to get involved. it's also very, very deep. for the most has the reins of power. both of those asides if you will absolutely amplify. i don't believe those who want to protect the racist status quo can come out and say that. they can't. so they have to find a bogeyman which they have always been effective at doing. you cause them to be afraid, you reinforce the idea of scarcity. any gain for you as a loss for
me. heather mcgee talks about that in the sum of us, talks about it dying of whiteness. critical race theory called it conservative race theory, it is a stand-in for anyone who acknowledges it is real. it is the perfect standing and away to cover that. you have the word critical. outside of academia a lot of people here that is meeting criticism, that sounds bad. critical thinking and thinking deeply with nuance and education. and then you have the word theory that soundsat like some radical crackpot thing. if it's just a theory it's not true or established. it is such a perfect little
meme to dismiss the conversation.ed it is being very effective. there is part p of me that does not want to talk about it i do not want to reinforce the legitimacy of crt right or wrong? so let me be clear true critical race theory comes out of legal scholarship. kimberlyrs crenshaw's work, derek bell, i am not a critical race theorist. but of course itis has been applied the premise is racism is structured into society. that absolutely. >> the question two how with regard to critical race theory debate, i want to asko the question why? why critical race theory? why now?
these moments to search in america is not racist to attack 1619, two attacks crt, all of this is aimed as we said at the beginning of this particular conversation. and it's aimed it is the scope we are not bad we cannot engage in this transformation of who we are, we are not that we are this. instead of debating crt on its merits these folks don't even know what it is most of the time. a we need to ask ourselves why is this being asked? it seems to me at the level of politics. if you have the two sizes you described them and i do not
want to make all of those persons on the right daily callers, subscribers, or white nationalists or the like there's differentiation there. there seems to be a level of solidarity to maintaining the idea that america must remain a white nation is debatable. those who are fighting for a just america this is what makes your book so interesting to me. among those who are supposedly fighting against you have joe manchin and the like. you can use your text to see what you're doing in real-time.
talk a little bit about what it means for these people to be on your side? >> i hope white people keep fighting. i hope nice white people are out there fighting. unfortunately i have not seen the energy we saw last summer is being sustained. running down practice on some level is exciting and exhilarating. the daily work of putting racism on the table looking i your policies and practices in the workplace, challenging one another is the really hard stuff. and in case i don't sit earlier, later, it takes courage it takes commitment but it also takes courage. and niceness is not courageous. my point around that is so many white people see the presence of niceness as an indicator of the absence of
racism. a culture of niceness is one that prevents us having difficult conversations about racism. it is generally a culture that is nice for me but not necessarily nice for you. i find our campus to be a very welcoming place. ,wouldn't you feel it could be a welcoming place? or this idea that if a policy is applied to everybody it is fair even if the outcomes will not be the same. so it takes a lot of commitment and courage. and that i want to see sustained the moment i think i have arrived i'm going to be complacent. i'm also going to be defensive about any feedback to the contrary t. one of the chapters is called there is no choir. the moment i think i am the
bchoir, i am going to be part of the problem. there is a level of humility that white people need to have. a level of understanding this construct is hundreds of years old at this point. it's nuanced it's complicated, it's charged is not simple not going to change just because we are friends. and so my learning. [inaudible] [i am curious you teach in college classrooms i assume. when you talk about race you may see some of these moves. there's a chapter called what about my drama? that is a pattern i often see amongst progressive white people that as soon as we start having hard conversations where they
become implicated. were not going to talk about out here were not going to talk about every else challenges. whatever we talk about were going to ask you to connect it to yourself. but what is it look like in your life? the number one question i get want to give a talk is how do i tell my friend about racism? i reply like this, how would i tell you about racism? the question always implies it's not me i'mn good to go i have to go forth and tell other people. since it starts it starts to implicate us, many white progressives will move into their own. maybe you could imagine it starts getting hard, i start 'mbeing implicated i'm going to start talking about growing up poor and how thoser people said that thing about me and how that hurt me. and now i am going to be a victim. right? or i'm going to say this conversation in bringing up my
old traumas. i cannot continue in this conversation. i wanted to call that in.t and again ask people to think deeply, how is this functioning in the cconversation? what happened to the conversation when you move to that place? i also want to push, i am not denying you have trauma. i am going to hold firm talking about racism is not in and of itself traumatic. >> for the white people. >> yes, yes. we have had this wonderful conversation, people have come to you they read white fragility they're going to read nights racism hope with all read the two. what is the source of hope? for the work that you do and
what you have seen over the years of doing this work? where isav your source of hope? not that we have to end with hope that the typical american narrative. talked a little bit about what you see onn the immediate horizon as you continue to do this work? >> i am an educatorit and going icto see a little bit about the politics of folks before i say give me hope. i think hope is political. because it drives behaviors and responses. just like emotions are political because they are informed by the framework for what you're doing is racist, i would have interpreted that through a particular framework. they would have triggered some responses that somewhat event white fragility. today i have a different framework have different feelings if you would say that to me. hope functions similarly. it does not function the same for black people as it does
for white people. i cannot speak to your relationship to that concept. where we are right now right see hopelessness yes, i do. i cannot go there. as a white person i can't go there. i cannot succumb to it. because the moment i do, great give up, give up. and who does that serve? what does that serve? because it is a system that benefits me if i give up hope within it if i give up hope to fight it i collude with it. on the other hand too much hope can make the pollyanna. and can cause me too be complacent. there were lots of f white folks who felt completely hopeful following the civil rights movement of the 60s and look where wee are.
it is something i navigate. i have to push through it. but what gives me hope, there are a couple concrete things on the stage the world stage of the democratic debate reparations for black people was discussed with absolute legitimacy. i don't think that would happen in my lifetime. the article in the atlantic on reparations, it's brilliant, powerful, and started to make headway in culture. there is a time when you could not critique capitalism. there is a time you cannot say white supremacy. he is saying a systemic racism and white supremacy are among the most urgent issues of our timeme. that is incredible and gives me hope.
it is tempered by the fact we will see what happens when he is not president anymore. whether that be for your seven or 12 years from now. >> it's been absolutely delighted talk with you. i'm delighted from a wonderful phrase hope is invented everything. if you have to invented every day so keep up the fight no matter what. >> thank you so much thank you so much. >> after words is available as a podcast. to listen seat -- span -- org/podcast. or search c-span after words on your podcast app. and watch this and all previous after words interviews @booktv.org. just click the after words button near the top of the page. former investment banker karol ross argued bureaucrats use the covid-19 pandemic and make wall street richer.
is a portion of that discussion we. >> we talk to people made big businesses versus small businesses there are around the country. most people do not have a sense of the scope. it's the niche of small business but it's actually the reverse. we have somewhere between ten and 15000 large businesses in the country. and before covid we had 30-point to million small businesses, 6 million of which had employees that accounted for half of the gdp at about half the employment of the country. one is a very significant part of the economy overall. if you about the type of wealth creation, wealth creation comes with ownership. it enables anybody, people from all over the globe who like to come here and pursue
that economic freedom, perceive that wealth creation. and some cases and so preserving that opportunity and then the decentralization that comes along with small business. it really looks a lot more like free market capitalism than the big businesses do. it makes it so critically important. but i tell you, talk about small businesses and we hear from politicians. we do not have enough people walking the talk we. >> to watch the rest of this program is it booktv.org search for karol roth of the title of her book the war on small business. look at weekends on cspan2 or intellectual feast. every saturday american history tv documents america story.
on sunday's book tv brings you the latest nonfiction books and authors. funding for cspan2 comes from these television companies and more including comcast. >> are you thinking this is a community center? no it's way more than that. comcast is parting with 1000 committee centers to create wi-fi enabled the students from low income families can get the tools they need to be ready for anything. >> comcast along with these television companies support cspan2 as a public service. : : : >> raising curious well educated children outside of the conventional classroom and it is written by carrie mcdonald, ms. mcdonnell before we get into the substance of the book tell us a little bit about yel