Through Filmmaker Whitney Dow’s web series appropriately titled The Whiteness Project, Dow, a white man, encourages other white people to learn to understand their whiteness and how their privilege affects the people around them.
The project first debuted in 2014 and featured middle aged white people from Buffalo, NY. In this latest installment, Dow skewed younger and spoke with 24 white millennials in Dallas, Texas who opened up on camera about how they perceive their racial identity in a world where whiteness still dominates.
In each interview, Dow asked people what they think about their own whiteness and how their identity impacts the world today. Their responses included both unsettling and enlightening reflections. Dow observed that many of the subjects in his series didn’t understand their relationship to structural racism in America.
They said things like, “I would be in jail if I was not white”, “I don’t personally feel responsible for racism.”
“I have to a hide who I am,” admitted Nick, an 18-year-old student who said he always identifies as white despite having a Mexican mother.
“Hopefully having white people talking about race openly and honestly will give other white people an opportunity to really think honestly about their own views and feelings,” Dow said.
“Until you bring white people into the conversation about race, understanding that their race is an active, dynamic component of their life,” he added, “I don’t believe you will make any significant advances in changing the racial dynamics in this country.”
You can view the full series on Dow’s website here.