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Sitting on my bedside table is a copy of Waking Up White by Debby Irving.  If you haven’t read it, Waking Up White is a memoir about race in which Irving discusses her own early misconceptions and how she eventually woke up.  As I was reading last night, it brought to mind the above quote from Lewis.

Race is a tricky thing.  It can take a long time to realize this if you’re white because you may not realize that your own race is baseline normal.  This means that anyone who isn’t white, or white enough, is abnormal. I can’t think of anyone who isn’t white who fails to understand this most likely because it is daily reality.

But if you’re white?  You can stumble along oblivious.

That almost makes it sound like I think races are separate and isolated but they aren’t.  How we see race is a function of different peoples bumping up against each other just like the rooms in a house.  Most houses have multiple rooms – kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms.  Together they make a building a house. Our racial issues are not the problems of black people, Asians or First Nations.  They took all of us, white people included, to come into being.

If you haven’t read Waking Up White, I recommend it.  I’m sure some of you have already come fully awake but if you have the book also contains talking points to help initiate discussions.

–SueBE

 

 

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