Understand Yourselves Better

White People: I Don’t Want You To Understand Me Better, I Want You To Understand Yourselves

Ijeoma Oluo:

Why do I know white culture so well? Because I’m a black woman. And while I, and just about any person of color who has spent their lives in a white supremacist society, know enough about white culture to write a book or two on whiteness and option the bestseller movie rights, y’all know almost nothing about us and even less about yourselves.

Find yourselves white people. Find yourselves so that you can know what whiteness is. … Find yourselves so that racism no longer surprises you.

Seeing the world clearly takes trouble. It is ongoing work to educate myself on racism, both my own personal racism and the systemic kind.

The hard part is knowledge of my own footprint:

  • self-interest in continuing racism
  • failure to act when opportunities came up
  • fully believing racist ideas

The easy part is that all I have to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. Once I learn something it stays learned.


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