#254 White People Talking About Whiteness | Eleanor Hancock

Ten Percent Happier
June 8, 2020
#254 White People Talking About Whiteness | Eleanor Hancock
Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

Many, if not most, white people don’t think of themselves as racialized. Race, we might tell ourselves, is an issue for people who have different skin colors than ours: black people, hispanic people, asian people, indigenous people, etcetera. But, of course, white is a racial category. (Important side note: race, for the record, is not a biological thing; it’s socially constructed.) Sadly, the white people who seem to have most clearly grasped that white is a race are white nationalists. But now it's time for white people to see whiteness, to talk to one another about it. This, many people in the racial justice world argue, is the key first step towards white people engaging fully in creating a more equitable society. My guest today is Eleanor Hancock, who is the Executive Director of a group called White Awake, which employs “educational resources and spiritual practices” to engage white people “in the creation of a just and sustainable society.” Eleanor was recommended to me by Sebene Selassie, who is one of the core teachers on the Ten Percent Happier app, and was on this show last week. Eleanor and I talk about why this work is so important, why so many white people resist it, the barriers white people face when they begin the work, the role of meditation, and the problematic aspects of white wokeness in these discussions.

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