Soledad O’Brien has a schtick, and she sticking to it. That schtick is race and all things encompassing it. O’Brien was recently named a distinguished visiting fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, and during a speech last week, told the school’s Institute of Politics that she’s often confronted by whites who want to take issue with her documentaries on race in America.
“People would sometimes, when I give speeches, stand up and say, ‘You know, I think your black America documentaries (are) divisive. I think like, you know, listen, we shouldn’t think of ourselves as African-American. We’re Americans, and everybody should stop separating themselves out,'” she said in a new video from the institute.
She continued: “First of all, it’s only white people who ever said that — ‘if we could just see beyond race. If only people didn’t see race, it would be such a better place, and you are responsible for bringing up these icky race issues, Soledad, you should just let sleeping dogs lie.'”
O’Brien added: “I was like, again, ‘OK, white person, this is a conversation you clearly are uncomfortable with, and I have no problem seeing race, and I think we should talk about race.”
Sure, a lot of white people aren’t comfortable talking about race, we know that. But it seems as though O’Brien has reshaped her career into spearheading race discussions. Every year, there’s another Black In America series, discussing the plight of black people in the U.S. Plenty of people have taken issue with the fact that O’Brien is “bi-racial”, and hasn’t experienced the Real World of “blackness”. Either way, her comments will probably touch people the wrong way, but black people will always know that white privilege and their ability not to even think about “race” is one hell of a drug and luxury.
What do you think about her comments?