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Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
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Waking Up White Quotes Showing 1-30 of 45
“If there’s a place for tolerance in racial healing, perhaps it has to do with tolerating my own feelings of discomfort that arise when a person, of any color, expresses emotion not welcome in the culture of niceness. It also has to do with tolerating my own feelings of shame, humiliation, regret, anger, and fear so I can engage, not run. For me, tolerance is not about others, it’s about accepting my own uncomfortable emotions as I adjust to a changing view of myself as imperfect and vulnerable. As human.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“The story emerging for me, however, tells a tale of black and brown people being held down so long that white folks have come to believe they got there on their own. The removal of legal barriers that once separated the races has done little to change the distorted belief system that lives on in the hearts and minds of millions of individuals. At this point, the only thing needed for racism to continue is for good people to do nothing.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“Whiteness, it turns out, is but a pigment of the imagination.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“I’ve learned that when it comes to race, there’s no such thing as neutral: either I’m intentionally and strategically working against it, or I’m aiding and abetting the system.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“I now understand that acting like a white American wasn’t just a “When in Rome do as the Romans do” cultural sensibility, but a matter of survival. In policy after policy, act after act, the United States has reaffirmed its commitment to being a melting-pot society adhering to Anglo-Saxon standards, as opposed to a mosaic nation built on the diversity of multiple cultures.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“White people must learn how to listen to the experiences of people of color for racial healing and justice to happen.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“About this time I came across Edmund Burke’s quote “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” That’s me, I thought. I’ve been doing nothing. I hadn’t been doing nothing because I didn’t care or lacked the courage. I did nothing, at least nothing with any real impact, because I didn’t understand how racism worked. If you can’t see a problem for what it is, how can you step in and be a part of its solution, no matter how good a person you are?”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“The sooner you can become comfortable with seeking what you don’t know, as opposed to proving what you do, the more you will learn and the more effective you’ll become as a racial justice advocate.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“Whenever a transition is called for, view it as your soul knocking at the door of your life, bearing more gifts for you to bring to the world. Change is a call from your soul to grow. —Sonia Choquette”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“WHY DO I ALWAYS END UP WITH WHITE PEOPLE?”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“Equality’ means giving every student exactly the same thing to meet the same expectation. ‘Equity’ means both holding people of differing needs to a single expectation and giving them what they need to achieve it.” In other words, it’s a way to level the playing field.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“The story of race has become a self-fulfilling, self-perpetuating prophecy as the story creates the ideas, which then reinforce the story.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“We keep people down by lowering our expectations of them and then forcing them to live down to them.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“When I got honest with myself, I had to own up to the fact that I’d bought into the myth of white superiority, silently and privately, explaining to myself the pattern of white dominance I observed as a natural outgrowth of biologically wired superior”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know. —Daniel J. Boorstin”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“Choosing to engage in the effort to dismantle racism promises to bring with it discomfort, yet how can I compare my discomfort to what people of color endure?”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“Eduardo Bonilla-Silva comments: “[The] melting pot never included people of color. Blacks, Chinese, Puerto Ricans, et cetera, could not melt into the pot. They could be used as wood to produce the fire for the pot, but they could not be used as material to be melted into the pot.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“An element of class you’ll notice in my story is the persistent sense of needing to “help” and “fix.” These characteristics are considered by many to be trademarks of the dominant class.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“I can tell you how exceptionally easy it is to be ignorant of the racial forces that have shaped my life and views, and how effortless it was not to make the connection that much of my comfort has been built on the backs of enslaved Africans, Chinese railroad workers, and other people of color, who, for much of history, were brought here or allowed here to work their tails off fueling America’s growth yet not be considered full Americans.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“Trying to protect children by providing a worry-free childhood is a privilege of the dominant class—a white privilege. Many parents of color teach their”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“The story of how the idea of race was invented speaks volumes about how human beings struggle to make sense of the world around them, and the way those in power are the ones whose interpretations get broadcast to the culture at large. Be it scientific conclusions, business practices, government policy, popular literature, or art, the folks at the top are the ones whose ideas get heard and valued. This is not a history book, so I’ll keep it short, but history buffs, if you haven’t delved into the history of race, whiteness, and racism, this is a fascinating area of study.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“racism is, and always has been, the way America has sorted and ranked its people in a bitterly divisive, humanity-robbing system.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“Understanding whiteness, regardless of class, is key to understanding racism.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“Sharing the burden of social discomfort is not simply a matter of helping someone else feel good. It's about leveling the playing field in pursuit of nurturing individual and collective potential.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“My glorification of independence and individualism made me and easy target for the myth of meritocracy, and overshadowed what in my heart I knew to be true: the deep interconnectedness I longed for with family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers is core to human survival. Interdependence is our lifeblood.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“Racism demands an artificial and divisive construction of humanity, in terms of how I make sense of others and also how I envision myself.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“Embedded in her incomplete story was a message that just one piece of information, drawn from a single perspective, was good enough to form a conclusion.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“The ingredient that takes the natural human inclination to sort, and adds to it the need to rank, is power.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“If we don't take on the task of educating ourselves about how to dismantle racism both in ourselves and in our communities, we can do more harm than good.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race
“I’ve heard it said that conversations are the way human beings think together.”
Debby Irving, Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race

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