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What’s Your Heritage?

Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.

 Ask the White Guy Luke ViscontiQuestion:
See now, that’s the problem: I always tell people, ‘You’re not “White”! You’re: Irish, Italian, German, Polish, Scottish, Czech, Russian, etc., etc. — something! So, please don’t disrespect your ancestors and your heritage!’ So, Mr. Visconti, what are YOU? I’d love to hear wonderful and fascinating things about your heritage. Let’s all share! Thanks.

Answer:
Wow, Nancy. Shouldn’t we all be allowed to describe ourselves?

I am a veteran and proud of my country. I am fortunate my European ancestors had the necessity (and opportunity) to flee the oppression of their origin, but they had a place to go, thrive and propagate—America!

 

America is my heritage and by utilizing the first amendment to publish DiversityInc, I have staked my entire professional career—my life work—to improve the prospect of a better American heritage for our sons and daughters. America has not always been fair or kind to all of the people under its care, but strong leaders like Franklin, Douglass, Garrison, Truth, Anthony, Chavez and King have been able to move our country towards fulfilling the promise of the Constitution.

 

Being born white, I have had the benefit of white privilege—which is why my column is titled “Ask the White Guy.” It’s my hope to share as much of my white privilege as I can because, in my opinion, leveling the playing field is how I can help all of my fellow citizens thrive.

 

 

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1 Comment

  • Marlene Looney

    White is a racial classification dating back to 1785. The definition evolved into a broad construct of peoples of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and their descendants based on area regardless of pigmentation. Nationalities (a construct of the 18th century) is another descriptor as is religion (or lack thereof). People self identify and after all, isn’t that what all of these classifications are about?! Self identification reflects the descriptors that are important to the individual.

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