Jane Elliot in San Diego

She tells it like it is, “Ignorance is the core of the racial problem.”

An hour history lesson from Jane Elliott is worth a 12-year Ph.D. in any educational circle. She’s everything we thought she would be and more. This visit was especially important due to the timely U-T incident where cartoonist, Steve Breen created a cartoon that as Jane says “Ignorant.” As she looked out of the U-T’s 12th-floor office window, she focused on the U-T mural. “They’re going to have to change that, she says.”

“Look at that, she says, a big giant black hand and a lighter black hand carving out a white male is perpetuating a lie that white males are the new citizen of 2050, that’s just ignorant, Jane goes on to say.” Jane took an all-Black audience except for a few other racial representatives, was determined to educate us that the only privilege white people have is to be ignorant. Jane impressed that the freedom to be ignorant was the only freedom white folks need to have in order to ignore historical facts and human genetics. It is the source of all the race problems.

“What most African Americans don’t understand is that when White folks have the freedom to completely disregard others and disregard them to the point of disadvantaging them caused by their ignorance, then Black folks must become brave to fight against it or brave to endure it, says Elliott.”

I had the pleasure of sharing intimate time with Jane right before she spoke, and the amazing thing she shared with me was how powerful education is but even more than that, how powerful it is when you can accept its truth.

“Love, she says is not enough nor is it useful in the aspect of human dignity. Human dignity is where one who loves himself creates justice for others, people don’t need your love to live their own lives they need justice, that’s what we need Jane says.” I want to personally thank the publisher and CEO of the Union-Tribune Jeff Light for his insightfulness and listening spirit. To Rev. Shane Harris founder of People’s Alliance for Justice thank you for bringing the “Great One” back to San Diego.

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