Truth Be Told: What is White?

It is, perhaps, one of the greatest cultural benefits of being white in America: you rarely have to think about it. People of all races and cultures have plenty to learn from each other, but do whites have the most to learn just because they seem to be a “blank slate” -- a default race? It was not always that way: Americans used to stratify whites socially with varying degrees of contempt for Irish, Italian and Jewish people. And in California, Mexicans were classified as “white” for many years after the state entered the union. Being “black” means being a person of African descent. What does it actually mean to be “white,” anyway? Is there a white identity? And does it come with a set of benefits that others don’t get? If white privilege is a real thing, what should that mean for everyone about how we interact? We’ll hear from people trying to unpack this racial construct for themselves, and we’ll talk to white people who’re trying to change how they treat people of color.

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