'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

Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ Statement on COVID-19 Vaccinations and Enabling Its Associates To Work On-Site Safely

Originally published at novartis.com. Novartis Pharmaceuticals is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.   As a leading healthcare company, Novartis is playing an important part by supporting vaccination to help overcome the pandemic. The safety of all associates, our customers, business partners and the communities where we run our operations…

KPMG on the Net-Zero Readiness of the United States

Originally published at info.kpmg.us. KPMG ranked No. 16 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   From board rooms to the halls of country capitals, leaders across the public and private sectors are increasingly deploying strategies to address climate change and drive towards a future net-zero…

Georgia Power

Georgia Power Partners With Nonprofit ‘Voices for Georgia’ To Promote Literacy for Pre-K Students

Originally published at southerncompany.com. Southern Company ranked No. 20 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Georgia Power has partnered with the nonprofit organization Voices for Georgia’s Children for the eighth consecutive year to celebrate Pre-K Week across the state. Like 2020, this year will be…

Southern Company Publishes Its 2019–2020 Corporate Responsibility Report

Originally published at southerncompany.com. Southern Company ranked No. 20 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   On Sept. 27, Souther Company released its 2019/2020 Corporate Responsibility Executive Summary, highlighting key areas of interest to help stakeholders access environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures and other…