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'Unravelling Racism': The Staenberg Omaha Jewish Community Center tackles the taboo topic

Speaker series featured author Adam Fletcher Sasse
Posted at 6:57 PM, Dec 14, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. — The words "white privilege" and "white supremacy" can sometimes start uncomfortable conversations that lead to arguments.

The "Unravelling Racism" speakers series challenges the past and presents the question — what if instead those words were used to unify?

"We can use history to begin to understand," said Adam Fletcher Sasse, an author and speaker. "White supremacy is actually a driving factor in our society that we can just name. If we can start with that naming and start with that place of understanding, rather than confrontation and using it as a wedge, then we can work with it and begin to see its role.

Having a clear understanding of the past, from an educational standpoint, that puts us on the path to unraveling racism and changing our future.

"White supremacy has driven our schools, our political system, our law enforcement, it has driven so many parts of our society for so long, history shows it in a very factual, real and practical way. By naming it and seeing that we can begin to change that. It is the change that we are most interested in with this project," said Sasse.

Ruby Platt, a seminar attendee, thinks that seeking other perspectives is important.

"I think more people should learn about race and what is going on in their community and outside of their community. Race is so important and it exists in every little thing," said Platt.

For those in attendance, it wasn't a guaranteed solution but a first step.

"I want more, I want answers. We have to work together to get answers, it is up to us to go out and seek and find ways to work together," said Natasha Kraft, another attendee of the seminar.

"This was just a little seed to plant in everyone's brain so they can start learning more and asking questions," Platt said.

A goal of the seminar is to encourage individuals not to run from uncomfortable conversations but to welcome them and learn from them.

"White privilege and white supremacy have been tools that have been perpetuating this really bad reality for a lot of people; people of color, those who don't identify as wealthy or heterosexual, all of these tools have been oppressing people for a long time," said Sasse.

"We can name it, see it, and use that to cause transformation in a way that is honest, in a way that is real, instead of a way that is a wedge that takes people apart. But instead, we can bring people together by understanding," Sasse said.

Sasse adds, the more we know and understand, the more we can grow, accept, and work for change. Building love, peace and hope.

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