One Perfect Question About Race

Professor Poses the One Perfect Question About Race That Stumps Her Audience

It’s so simple, yet so overlooked.

Elliott asks all white people in her audience to stand if they “would be happy to be treated as this society in general treats our black citizens.”

The video shares some blank stares from the white audience members as a hush falls over the crowd.

Elliott comments harshly, “You didn’t understand the directions,” and she repeats the question.

“Nobody is standing here,” Elliott says. “That says very plainly that you know what’s happening? You know you don’t want it for you. I want to know why you’re so willing to accept it or to allow it to happen to others.”

It’s a poignant teachable moment for those who haven’t considered empathy as a response to the injustices people of color suffer.

The clip has been circulating widely since last week’s resurgence of Black Lives Matter protests around the country. There have been many cringe-worthy and ignorant responses questioning why black lives matter as opposed to “all lives mattering.” This clip is the perfect response.


Watch the video, posted by Occupy Democrats:

Jenny Pierson is AlterNet’s assistant managing editor


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