Last week “White People”, a powerful documentary from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas, aired on MTV and centered around getting young adults, in key parts of the country, talking truthfully about race, their personal experiences, (in)tolerance and understanding.
Like the many conversations that occur in my book The Color of Character, the ones in this documentary are eye opening and sometimes hard hitting, but important. Important for us all to understand how the next generation feels about things put in motion generations before them and perpetuated by the media, and sometimes family and friends.
We need to see interviews like this with white people who fear talking candidly with blacks in America (and vice versa), for fear of being called a “racist”. This does a disservice to us all in creating a better mutual understanding through open dialogue.
And most of the dialogue is purely innocent curiosity to understand how life is different for the other person.
While it has received some backlash, I felt the documentary is the first step, of what I hope will be many, to get us all talking, in meaningful conversations, so that we can finally let go and move this country forward.
It’s clear, based on what’s making news today, that the time has come. The alternative is another Ferguson. Another Baltimore. Another Charleston.
We can make it stop.
I encourage you to watch it: