"The Color of the Race Problem Is White"
a lecture by Professor Robert Jensen,
author of The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege
recorded March 30, 2009
(lecture, 28 minutes; discussion, 24 minutes)
In The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. DuBois suggested that the question white people so often want to ask black people is, "How does it feel to be a problem?" This program turns the tables and recognizes some simple facts: Race problems have their roots in a system of white supremacy. White people invented white supremacy. Therefore, the color of the race problem is white. White people are the problem. White people have to ask ourselves: How does it feel to be a problem?
Following the ideas in his book The Heart of Whiteness,
Jensen argues that -- even decades after the significant achievements of the
civil-rights movement and with an African-American president -- it is still
appropriate to describe the