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Learn more about the conference she mocks

April 12, 2011

Readers may see my response to Katherine Kersten’s article, “There’s always room for white guilt,” http://www.startribune.com/opinion/otherviews/119508364.html at: http://www.startribune.com/opinion/letters/119635074.html.

Here’s the text:

On the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, during which the future of slavery was decided, I find it disturbing that Katherine Kersten would write with such contempt about the White Privilege Conference this week in Bloomington (“Always room in the budget for white guilt,” April 10).

Facing our nation’s shadows is not a laughing matter, as she suggests. It is sacred work, asking not that we shame ourselves as whites, but that we understand our cultural patterns of denying citizens of color access to full citizenship, employment, health care, housing and other rights based solely on genetic traits.

Until we honor the experiences of descendants of slaves and others who have faced discrimination, we cannot fathom what it means to not inherit intergenerational wealth that we, as whites, take for granted.

The conference is not about dwelling in the sins of our past; it is about moving forward in a spirit of truth, courage and humility. It is great to see Lakeville and other school districts invested in the important work of intercultural development.

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