1. “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” –James Baldwin (p. 91)
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” –Edmund Burke (p. 98)
In light of these quotes, in what ways to you relate to the author in stating, “I understood then that it was possible to be both a good person and complicit in a corrupt system.” (p. 99)
2. “Color-blindness, a philosophy that denies the way lives play out differently along racial lines, actually maintains the very cycle of silence, ignorance, and denial that needs to be broken for racism to be dismantled.” (p. 102)
When Martin Luther King, Jr. prophesied that one day his kids “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” (“I Have a Dream” speech, 1963), he appears to advocate a sense of color-blindness.
In light of Debbie Irving’s quote above, in what ways should we live being “color-blind”?
How should we avoid being “color-blind”?
3. In her chapter, “My Robinhood Syndrome”, Irving begins the chapter with the quote, “The audacity of thinking I knew what was good for ‘others’.” She writes about the “’dysfunctional rescuing,’ helping people in ways that actually disempower them” (p. 106-07). How do white resourced people who run well-intentioned nonprofits “hurt” the cause of racism and the suppression of low-income peoples? Why does she indicate that the good programs she instituted to help the poor African-Americans may have been hurting them? What are some programs in Atlanta that have cause harm while trying to help?