The real disagreements about race and racism are among white people. 57% of white people think that racism against white people is just as important a problem as racism against people of color. (CNN) Differences of opinion on race and racism among white people of different backgrounds and life experiences are normal. But the growing inability of white people to talk with each other respectfully across these differences—much less work together—contributes to keeping our nation’s problems in place. It’s essential to create a forum where white people can have a healthy dialogue about that disagreement. We cannot come together as a nation around changing racism without healthy dialogue by white people with other white people across political differences. White on White holds white people accountable for talking with each other, given simple but essential training that includes tested ground rules. We seek to provide positive experiences for small groups of white progressives, independents, and conservatives in talking and listening with each other about personal experience with ethnicity, race, and racism—rather than opinions or judgements. The model we use is Living Room Conversations. Living Room Conversations’ research (collaboratively conducted with the Fetzer Institute) and longstanding social science research indicate that such positive, small-group experiences mend not only fences and relationships, but hearts, minds, and possibilities for forward movement together as a nation.
Beth Raps, Phd.
Eagle Rock, VA, USA