Diversity workshop bluntness had a point
I am responding to the Sept. 2 article on the Diversity Matters Workshop entitled, "Diversity talk raises questions."
Francis E. Kendall, Ph.D., began her presentation on diversity by tearing us from our comfort level and propelling us into controversy. Her message was shocking and blunt for the audience comprised mostly of white women. Dr. Kendall explained that white women have privileges that allow them to view everyone as individuals without considering themselves as part of a racial group. White privilege gives a choice to address racism and discrimination, whereas men and women of color do not have this luxury.
Kendall is correct in saying our education has done a great disservice to us if we cannot keep ourselves open to realities within our society. Racism is institutionalized whether it's the opinions of administrators or laws of the past that have repercussions on today's generations. The purpose of Kendall's presentation was not to put white women on the defense but to offer hope. Kendall challenged the white women of the audience to recognize who they are so that they may become agents of change within our communities.
All Viewpoint Stories for Tuesday, September 10, 2002