Episode 45: Transformation (Seeing White, Part 14)

August 24, 2017

The concluding episode in our series, Seeing White. An exploration of solutions and responses to America’s deep history of white supremacy by host John Biewen, with Chenjerai Kumanyika, Robin DiAngelo, and William “Sandy” Darity, Jr.

Download a transcript of the episode.

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10 comments on “Episode 45: Transformation (Seeing White, Part 14)

  1. Carol M. Aug 25, 2017

    Thank you for this fabulous and documentary course (Episodes 31-44) in deliberate oppression. I have enjoyed the conversations and the stories; looked forward to every new episode like the thirsty for water. I will miss the quench. Illuminating. Inspiring.Genius.

  2. Dale Ettridge Aug 25, 2017

    Thank you!
    I’m a 17 year old white boy from Middlesbrough, a large industrial town in the north east of England. I really can’t thank you enough for this entire series, it’s introduced me to ideas that have really had a huge impact on the lens I see the world through. Although the series deals especially with whiteness in the context of the US, we in the UK also have our on versions of systemic racism and white privilege – something I might never of come to realise without discovering this podcast. Coming to realise my own whiteness, although I’m sure I still have a lot left to learn, and the way it relates to the society and economy has made me realise the duties I have as a white guy to support anti-racist work. Whiteness isn’t an easy thing for white people to see, but I can’t overstate how grateful I am to this series for helping me to see it.

  3. Aron DiBacco Sep 18, 2017

    I’ve been thinking about this material for a long time. This series opened up a connection to truth that had been eluding me. What I wrote about that is here: https://stonesoupnh.com/2017/09/06/the-skin-im-in/

    Thank you for this gift.

  4. Rémi COUSIN Dec 10, 2017

    Just finished the series. Great invaluable work to put all the pieces together from Greek’s Barbarians to now. Except… I wished you had had one before last part on the now. A part describing the current situation would have been really powerful I think to connect all the dots in the continuum of building the institutional whiteness system. Once could argue that the current situation is all over the news (from police brutality to white male billionaires at the top of government) and therefore well known to all. But is it? Since this is an educational program of which strength is to make emerge the chronological construction of systemic racism, having the last picture of the now would have been insightful.

    But I am being picky 😉

  5. I loved the series. It was very informative, and I will probably need to listen again to fully digest it. It is exactly what I think podcasts can be, and I hope that you are able to follow up on the subject more.

    I’d like to add my two cents on the last episode focused primarily on suggestions for action. The suggestions were mostly policy based and focused on actions taken through social organizations dedicated to improving society. Those are great things to do, but I want to make an additional suggestion that could also be powerful. Also, I hate joining groups and politics, so only offering those solutions turns me off.

    As you pointed out in the last episode, people typically do not voluntarily relinquish power, so that seems like a very heavy lift. Maybe I have missed the entire point, but while white supremacy may ultimately revolve around power, it often expresses itself in terms of fairness. White people typically expect and receive a certain level of fairness that is apparently denied to others. In my mind, a major goal should be to make the country as fair for everyone as it currently is for whites. I believe that white people achieve this fairness amongst themselves through understanding and caring for one another as individuals, which leads to relatively fair outcomes. The question is how to extend this dynamic outside of whites?

    I believe that the answer is to first and foremost is to make a significant effort to make real friends across the color line. By friends, I do not mean casual acquaintances, but individuals that you really care about and will fight for when necessary. People typically do not stand by when someone they care about is being treated unfairly, whether on an individual or societal scale, even though they may do so when a group of people who they view as an abstraction are being treated equally unfairly. Also, people are typically much more self-reflective of their racist views when confronted – either actively or passively – by a friend that they care about. I do not have a suggestion of how to systematize this “friending”, but I think that it is a key.

    Again, great work. Keep it up.

  6. Ken Enockson Jan 12, 2018

    I’ve thoroughly “enjoyed” this series. Enjoyed in quotations because, as a white man, I have been brought to a level of understanding of my privileged place in this nation in a way that I only had an inkling before. All the disparate pieces were put together see the larger whole of the history and legacy of whiteness and the extent of white supremacy in my everyday life. It’s been an anguishing, rage-inducing, humbling experience. It’s forcing me to confront my own embedded racism as well as the systemic racism in my community and to resolve to do what I can to bring about change.

    From a production standpoint the series well-done. Simple in many ways but with great clarity. You have managed somehow to make an extremely complicated and and convoluted subject that is largely ‘invisible’ to the majority of American citizens and explain it in layman’s terms that can be digested and understood.

    Many thanks for taking this on.

  7. Louise Lawarre Jan 13, 2018

    A thousand times thank you. I am printing the transcripts as fast you they are posted. We have offered workshops on whiteness over the last couple of years, and are planning another. We will reference Seeing White many times and encourage everyone to listen. I have learned so much with this series. There is no such thing as “preaching to the choir.” Folks who are a little “woke” have just started to relearn what any of us thought we knew.

  8. Tom Hostetler Jan 21, 2018

    So much to think about…so little time.

  9. James Mar 3, 2018

    I would advertise the science more to make sure everyone knows race is not a biological reality. I would challenge whites with having their DNA confirm their imagined white purity.

  10. Kim Webb Giannini Apr 30, 2018

    This series was the most educational, thought-provoking series I have ever heard.
    I am Canadian, but am aware that the general theme also applies here. I look forward to
    future podcasts.
    Thank you.

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