If your ancestors cut down all the trees, it’s not your fault, but you still don’t live in a forest.
Pam Oliver, a professor in the UW-Madison sociology department, explaining the historical roots of racism in the United States to her undergraduate students (mostly middle-class and White). I try to use this when I teach race now, too, to get past the defensive “but why are you BLAMING ME” reaction. (via cabell)
THIS. THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.
To all the white people who say that they shouldn’t have responsibility in racism because they’re ancestors and not them who participated in slavery, think about this!