If our society is to move beyond its racial problems, then change is needed. This raises the question, “Who must change?” Should it be white people, or people of color? A fair answer would be, “Both.”
How much thought have we, as a society, given to the changes white people need to make? Increasingly, people from all walks of life are asking this question. There is a growing awareness that race affects white people, too. Scholars and activists, leaders and followers, and people of all races, including white people, are coming to see that to undo the racial structure of our society—a structure which touches and harms us all—we have to explore the other half of the equation, white American culture.
White culture forms the central values of our society, and yet is often treated as invisible, normal, and outside the discussion of race. If, as a nation, we are to develop a truly multiracial society centered on multiracial values, we need to discuss whiteness and white culture along with other racial and cultural groups. White people need to think about how white culture and values can find expression in non-dominant and non-oppressive ways.