Professor Jamie Campbell is one of my favorite people (and voices) on campus. Like the students she writes about, I was raised to believe that all people are equal, and found myself confused and distressed when confronted with the reality that not all people are treated with or experience equity.
As a white woman, I have so much to learn, and that means listening to the wisdom and experience of people of color.
“I have seen my students do one of two things when confronted with a glaring disparity in the real world to their beliefs about human equality – they either (1) become very uncomfortable and frustrated that their parents didn’t teach them the truth, or (2) become very self-righteous, sure that equality is real, and that anyone experiencing inequality must be morally at fault for their own situation.
All of my students know that I love these conversations, the hard ones where we wrestle with the good, the bad, and the ugly about humanity and prejudice (America is not alone in its hypocrisy). My White students come to me asking for space to process what is it to be ‘White’ in a world where more boxes exist to be checked that identify others for whom conversations about ethnicity, prejudice, and disparity were not optional conversations around the dinner table.”