Why We White People Need to Love One Another Through It

About this time last year, right before COVID-19 confined us to our homes and screens, I went to see activist and author Layla Saad on her book tour for “Me and White Supremacy.” The event, hosted by a local Black-owned bookstore, Uncle Bobbie’s, drew a primarily white audience. Sitting in the crowded church where the event was being held, I kept mostly to myself in a roomful of superfans who collectively gushed as Layla took the stage. With nearly every point she made, there was a deep bobbing of heads, punctuated with overly enthusiastic snapping, sometimes clapping. One white man…


How to Get Unstuck

This week, I met a young white woman named Jess, who was deep in her feelings. Michelle and I were speaking (virtually) at a company’s Juneteenth event, and when we entered the conversation part of the presentation, Jess was one of the first to volunteer with a question. Participants don’t always turn on their cameras when they unmute, but Jess did. With her whole company watching and listening, she shared a personal experience that left her rattled. She had recently hired a young man (“who happened to be Black”), and when he showed up in a Black Lives Matter shirt…


Why the Celebrity PSA Made Twitter (and Me) Cringe

My teenage sons watch a YouTube series called That’s Cringe, where Cody Ko and his friend Noel Miller watch people doing and saying things that are so awkward, so uncomfortable that they’re almost unbearable to watch. So this week when I saw the celebrity “I Take Responsibility [for racism]” video fill up my Twitter timeline, I felt like Cody minus the YouTube audience. If you haven’t seen it yet, it features some of our favorite white actors (shrouded in black and white) owning their racism, mostly in an overly dramatic or “extra” (a word my teens taught me) actor-y tone…


from That White Lady Who Shared the Starbucks Video

You may not know my name, but you probably heard about what I did.

In 2018, when my video of two Black men unjustly arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks went viral, I was thrust into an international conversation about race, and as a middle-aged white lady, I was overwhelmed, confused and ashamed, to say the least. That’s probably how you’re feeling right about now, minus the onslaught of media in your life.

That day in Starbucks, I didn’t just see Donte and Rashon as Black, but I saw myself as white. And truthfully, not just saw, but felt. I felt…


Here she goes, making it about race.

As I watch her speak to a live audience of many millions (14.6 million just on the three major networks and at least 20 million more on YouTube), that’s the first thought that comes to me. It’s not because she’s wrong. It’s because I’m imagining what lots of white people like me are probably thinking: Why does she have to do this now? Aren’t we all in this together?

The “she” is Beyonce, and she is on national television taking part in what is arguably the biggest televised charity event since LiveAid, talking about why Black Americans are disproportionately affected…


I’ve been keeping a list. Don’t be alarmed, it’s not an Arya Stark kind of list. It’s a list you actually want to be on. And though it’s dismally short, I am happy to say it just got a new entry: NBA guard Kyle Korver.

Yesterday, my DMs, inbox and texts were flooded with the same link: Utah Jazz player Kyle Korver’s piece in The Players’ Tribune entitled simply “Privileged.” Korver penned a piece about how, over the years as a white player in a mostly black league (over 75% percent of NBA players are men of color), he gained insight and perspective on racism and his own white privilege. Korver describes how he came to see, as they say, that racism is not the shark, but the water. …


Image by Jose Moreno, Philadelphia Inquirer

I had a very specific goal in mind when I bought a ticket to billionaire coffee mogul and potential 2020 presidential candidate Howard Schultz’s book event at the Free Library of Philadelphia on February 13. I had been trying to get a meeting with him ever since I shared the now infamous video of Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson being arrested in my neighborhood Starbucks. As a result of the incident, I started working with Michelle Saahene, the first person to speak up in the Starbucks that day. …

Melissa DePino

That white lady who shared the Starbucks video then co-founded the @privtoprog movement. Writer. Activist. Relentless. #ShowUp

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