Minister, professor, father, writer, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, joined Elvis Duran and the Morning Show Monday to discuss privilege and what we can do to take the next steps in this fight against racism.
“What’s too painful to remember, we choose to forget," Dyson comes onto the show quoting Barbara Streisand. "If you can be on the streets of Minnesota, We have to own up to our racial past. To make this nation what it is meant to be... You gotta figure out a way to get past the blockade of bigotry," explains Dyson to the morning show.
In 2017, Dyson released his book Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America is a frank, searing discussion of race that everyone needs to read right now. Dyson tells the show, "Even if you are not rich. If you live in a society that won’t judge you from the color of your skin, that is a form of privilege...I worked hard too, I got a phd too, it doesn’t make a difference. some people judge me regardless of what I attained."
Dyson then recalls a few stories where someone's privilege showed. Two years ago he was in D.C. out one night at 4:30am and "one white kid was cussing the police out." He thought to himself "Oh my god, they're going to hurt this kid," however the story concludes with that police officer calling a cab and saying to the kid, 'you need to go home.' Another story he recalls is sitting in the passenger seat with his white colleague driving. When they got pulled over for something, his friend driving starts cussing, and goes to reach for his wallet, never once fearing his life would be taken. That is white privilege.
We know racism exists, now what? Gandhi asks Dyson. Dyson answers: Attend protests, read, be self-critical, you don’t have to wait for the government to do something, change your mind, your heart, your outlook. Go to a black church and feel uncomfortable, Go somewhere where you are not the majority.
All of this and more can be explained in Dyson's book and in the video above. We encourage you to listen and read.