The Guardian reports on the latest form of self improvement catching on among female cloud people.
Freshly made pasta is drying on the wooden bannisters lining the hall of a beautiful home in Denver, Colorado. Fox-hunting photos decorate the walls in a room full of books. A fire is burning. And downstairs, a group of liberal white women have gathered around a long wooden table to admit how racist they are.
â€œRecently, I have been driving around, seeing a black person, and having an assumption that they are up to no good,â€ says Alison Gubser. â€œImmediately after I am like, thatâ€™s no good! This is a human, just doing their thing. Why do I think that?â€
This is Race to Dinner. A white woman volunteers to host a dinner in her home for seven other white women â€“ often strangers, perhaps acquaintances. (Each dinner costs $2,500, which can be covered by a generous host or divided among guests.) A frank discussion is led by co-founders Regina Jackson, who is black, and Saira Rao, who identifies as Indian American. They started Race to Dinner to challenge liberal white women to accept their racism, however subconscious. â€œIf you did this in a conference room, theyâ€™d leave,â€ Rao says. â€œBut wealthy white women have been taught never to leave the dinner table.â€
Rao and Jackson believe white, liberal women are the most receptive audience because they are open to changing their behavior. They donâ€™t bother with the 53% of white women who voted for Trump. White men, they feel, are similarly a lost cause. â€œWhite men are never going to change anything. If they were, they would have done it by now,â€ Jackson says.
White women, on the other hand, are uniquely placed to challenge racism because of their proximity to power and wealth, Jackson says. â€œIf they donâ€™t hold these positions themselves, the white men in power are often their family, friends and partners.â€
It seems unlikely anyone would voluntarily go to a dinner party in which theyâ€™d be asked, one by one, â€œWhat was a racist thing you did recently?â€ by two women of color, before appetizers are served. But Jackson and Rao have hardly been able to take a break since they started these dinners in the spring of 2019. So far, 15 dinners have been held in big cities across the US.
The women who sign up for these dinners are not who most would see as racist. They are well-read and well-meaning. They are mostly Democrats. Some have adopted black children, many have partners who are people of color, some have been doing work towards inclusivity and diversity for decades. But they acknowledge they also have unchecked biases. They are there because they â€œknow [they] are part of the problem, and want to be part of the solution,â€ as host Jess Campbell-Swanson says before dinner starts.
I think we should have competing $3000 dinners (with better food) at which a couple of articulate conservatives tell them how stupid they are,.