'You Don't Look White,' Reader Tells White Guy

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.


The same reader who asks the White Guy why the descendants of African tribal leaders shouldn’t pay reparations for slavery also questions his racial/ethnic identity. Here’s what the White Guy has to say.

Question:

If you think white people owe reparations to black people for being slaves, why not bill the descendants of the ancestral African tribal leaders, who having won their tribal wars then sold the losing tribes into slavery to the white slavers as well

Answer:

I don’t think “white people” owe reparations, I think the United States of America does. Justice would be served if all people involved in the slave trade paid reparations; however, our country would benefit the most by an aggressive reparations program, because most descendants of American slaves still live in this country.

Reparations should be goaled to restore descendants of slaves to the median economic level of wealth in this country. It is important to define what reparations could be—it’s not simply handing a check to people. Remedial investments in education, housing and employment opportunity would benefit all Americans by lifting an oppressed group to enable them to achieve the human potential they were born with. I don’t think it’s that important to genetically justify reparations—all black people are subject to the racism in our culture. The percentage of people who would benefit from reparations but were not descendants of slaves is statistically insignificant.

It is the work of free people that creates wealth. Although our country has not been perfect, our human rights are what have made us a powerful nation. Reparations are a natural extension of that process.

Question:

You don’t look “white.” Are you of Italian descent I thought Italians are Latins, not white. But there again, I might just be an ignorant white woman.

Answer:

Ironically, one of my earliest memories is being told I was “passing” at a friend’s fourth birthday party in East Orange, N.J. No doubt that my ancestors have some African relatives—but so do yours. As the human-genome project demonstrates, we’re all from Africa and there is no such thing as race. Have a nice day, fellow person of African descent!

Latest News

bowl of congee

White Oregon Business Owner Faces Backlash for Culturally Appropriating Congee, an Asian Rice Porridge

Karen Taylor, owner of the Eugene, Oregon-based “Breakfast Cure” and self-proclaimed “Queen of Congee,” has apologized after receiving social media backlash from the AAPI community, accusing her of culturally appropriating an Asian rice porridge called congee. Kimmy Yam of NBC News reported that many Asian Americans on Twitter took umbrage…

Census 2020 map

Biden Administration Exploring Policy Changes To Make US Census More Accurate and Inclusive of Race and Ethnicity

President Biden and the U.S. Census Bureau are hoping to revive a previously proposed policy that would allow the 2030 survey to ask more accurate questions about race and ethnicity — and by extension, improve the quality of demographic data acquired and used toward policymaking, voting districts, and enforcing civil…

Starting a Family With the Help of Capital One

Originally published at capitalonecareers.com. Capital One Financial ranked No. 28 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Kevin and his husband Craig were ready to start their family. While they had a friend offer to be their surrogate, due to same-sex surrogacy regulations in their…

Achieving Your Goals With Capital One

Originally published at capitalonecareers.com. Capital One Financial ranked No. 28 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Daniel knew he’d do whatever it took to make his dreams come true. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Daniel grew up facing a lot of obstacles, including…