- The Washington Times - Monday, December 28, 2015

An Emory University professor has penned an open letter to white Americans asking them to admit to “the racist poison” inside of them that’s to blame for a long history of black suffering.

In “Dear White America,” published by The New York Times, philosophy professor George Yancy called his letter “a gift” to white people.

“Bear in mind, though, that some gifts can be heavy to bear. You don’t have to accept it; there is no obligation,” he wrote. “I give it freely, believing that many of you will throw the gift back in my face, saying that I wrongly accuse you, that I am too sensitive, that I’m a race hustler, and that I blame white people (you) for everything.”

“So, as you read this letter, take a deep breath,” he continued. “Make a space for my voice in the deepest part of your psyche. Try to listen, to practice being silent. There are times when you must quiet your own voice to hear from or about those who suffer in ways that you do not.”

To support his argument that all white people are racist, Mr. Yancy started off by admitting that he is a sexist for perpetuating sexism “every day of my life. “

“As a sexist, I have failed women,” he wrote. “I have failed to speak out when I should have. I have failed to engage critically and extensively their pain and suffering in my writing. I have failed to transcend the rigidity of gender roles in my own life. I have failed to challenge those poisonous assumptions that women are ‘inferior’ to men or to speak out loudly in the company of male philosophers who believe that feminist philosophy is just a nonphilosophical fad. I have been complicit with, and have allowed myself to be seduced by, a country that makes billions of dollars from sexually objectifying women, from pornography, commercials, video games, to Hollywood movies. I am not innocent.”

“Just because I fight against sexism does not give me clean hands, as it were, at the end of the day; I continue to falter, and I continue to oppress,” he continued. “And even though the ways in which I oppress women is unintentional, this does not free me of being responsible.

Mr. Yancy asked white people not to shield themselves from their own racism but to “practice being vulnerable.”

“After all, it is painful to let go of your ‘white innocence,’ to use this letter as a mirror, one that refuses to show you what you want to see, one that demands that you look at the lies that you tell yourself so that you don’t feel the weight of responsibility for those who live under the yoke of whiteness, your whiteness,” he wrote. “I am asking you to enter into battle with your white self. I’m asking that you open yourself up; to speak to, to admit to, the racist poison that is inside of you.”

Mr. Yancy went on to claim that all white people are part of a racist system that favors them over others.

“As you reap comfort from being white, we suffer for being black and people of color,” he argued. “What I’m asking is that you first accept the racism within yourself, accept all of the truth about what it means for you to be white in a society that was created for you. I’m asking for you to trace the binds that tie you to forms of domination that you would rather not see. When you walk into the world, you can walk with assurance; you have already signed a contract, so to speak, that guarantees you a certain form of social safety.”

“Take one more deep breath. I have another gift,” Mr Yancy concluded. “If you have young children, before you fall off to sleep tonight, I want you to hold your child. Touch your child’s face. Smell your child’s hair. Count the fingers on your child’s hand. See the miracle that is your child. And then, with as much vision as you can muster, I want you to imagine that your child is black.”

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