It's Human Nature to Oppress, Says the White Guy

Question: Why do white people think that they are better than anyone else, and think that they have all the rights, and that they should be the ones to decide who gets what, when all that they have, they stole, and raped, and murdered, and enslaved to get?

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.


Question:

Why do white people think that they are better than anyone else, and think that they have all the rights, and that they should be the ones to decide who gets what, when all that they have, they stole, and raped, and murdered, and enslaved to get?

Answer:

The perception that oppression is a way to gain and maintain power runs deep in the human psyche. It's not limited to whites; for example, Pol Pot, Baby Doc, Tojo, the Janjaweed and the Hutu extremists were/are not white.

In my opinion, we all have a tendency for oppression in our makeup. Clearly, some people have it more than others, but Hitler, for example, didn't do it all by himself, and I don't believe all Germans are evil.

The dominant culture in any company finds it easy to forget past oppression. That's why most white people in this country think that it's already a level playing field. I believe there are far more ignorant people than truly bigoted ones.

For example, I was on Bill O'Reilly's show during the University of Michigan Supreme Court hearing, and he asked, "When are 'these people' going to get over it, the Civil War was over 100 years ago?" When I pointed out that the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were just over 40 years ago, he turned red and conceded the point.

It took me a long time to truly understand how a level playing field is truly the best way to maintain my position in life.

Two Different Cups of Joe: How The Coffee Bean and Starbucks Handled Racism

In an age of increasing racial confrontations, a business must have zero tolerance for discrimination.

In the Trump era, there has been a proliferation of Islamophobic and racist incidents across the country. When discrimination occurs at a place of business, it's apparent if the company's leadership and workforce support diversity and inclusion. A Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf café barista refused to serve a racist customer; meanwhile, a white manager at a Starbucks called the police on two Black men for no reason.

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Executives from Nielsen, New York Life, TIAA and Toyota Motor North America talk about communicating their commitment to D&I management and backing it up with actions that get results.

At the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 event, more than 400 people were in attendance during the day to hear best practices on effectively managing diversity and inclusion.

Moderator: Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

Panelists:

  • Angela Talton, Chief Diversity Officer, Nielsen
  • Kathleen Navarro, VP & Chief Diversity Officer, New York Life
  • Steve Larson, Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion, TIAA
  • Adrienne Trimble, General Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, Toyota Motor North America

We White People Need to Own This

Martin Luther King has been dead for 50 years and Donald Trump is our president. Who is responsible?

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Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 18 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.

We will be deluged by Martin Luther King articles and columns today. Some will be excellent, like the one Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote. But most will be saccharine sweet and not say what needs to be said.

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Quiroz was an advocate of diversity and inclusion, education and the arts.

A Latina trailblazer, Lisa Garcia Quiroz, senior vice president and chief diversity officer at Time Warner Inc., and president of the Time Warner Foundation, died Friday at age 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. An advocate of diversity and inclusion, education and the arts, Quiroz created a dynamic legacy.

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The Chief of Staff Needs to Get Off His Privileged Racist Ass and Do Some Homework

And his draft-dodging boss needs to put his juvenile visions of military dictatorship out of his head.

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Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 18 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.

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