Category: One Sentence

One Sentence: Ijeoma Oluo

One Sentence: Ijeoma Oluo

I recently read So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo, and the following sentence stood out as one that encapsulates much of Oluo’s message throughout the book:

Even if we were to flip a switch today and end all racism and racial oppression, millions of people of color would still be disadvantaged by racial oppression of yesterday, and that would need to be addressed with policies like affirmative action that seek to replace opportunities previously denied unless we feel like leaving an entire generation in the dust and hope that their children will be able to rise from those ashes.

In the past month or two, I’ve seen quite a few people say “being nice isn’t enough.” It’s not enough to simply eliminate overtly prejudiced statements and actions. We won’t have justice or equity unless we work to right the wrongs of the past, to provide people of color what they have been refused for so long.