James A. White Sr.: The little problem I had renting a house

James A. White Sr.: The little problem I had renting a house


An 18-year-old, African-American male
joined the United States Air Force and was assigned to Mountain Home
Air Force Base and was a part of the air police squadron. Upon first arriving there,
the first goal that I had was for me to identify an apartment, so I could bring my wife
and my new baby, Melanie, out to join me in Idaho. I immediately went to
the personnel office, and talking with the guys in personnel, they said, “Hey, no problem finding
an apartment in Mountain Home, Idaho. The people down there love us
because they know if they have an airman who is coming in to rent
one of their apartments, they’ll always get their money.” And that was a really important thing. He said, “So here is a list
of people that you can call, and then they will then allow you
to select the apartment that you want.” So I got the list; I made the call. The lady answered on the other end
and I told her what I wanted. She said, “Oh, great you called. We have four or five apartments
available right now.” She said, “Do you want
a one-bedroom or two-bedroom?” Then she said, “Let’s not talk about that. Just come on down,
select the apartment that you want. We’ll sign the contract and you’ll have keys in your hand
to get your family out here right away.” So I was excited. I jumped in my car. I went downtown
and knocked on the door. When I knocked on the door,
the woman came to the door, and she looked at me, and she said,
“Can I help you?” I said, “Yes, I’m the person
who called about the apartments. I was just coming down
to make my selection.” She said, “You know what?
I’m really sorry, but my husband rented those apartments
and didn’t tell me about them.” I said, “You mean he rented
all five of them in one hour?” She didn’t give me a response,
and what she said was this: She said, “Why don’t you
leave your number, and if we have some openings,
I’ll give you a call?” Needless to say,
I did not get a call from her. Nor did I get any responses
from the other people that they gave me on the list
where I could get apartments. So as a result of that,
and feeling rejected, I went back to the base, and I talked
to the squadron commander. His name was McDow, Major McDow. I said, “Major McDow, I need your help.” I told him what happened,
and here’s what he said to me: He said, “James, I would love to help you. But you know the problem: We can’t make people rent to folks
that they don’t want to rent to. And besides, we have a great relationship
with people in the community and we really don’t want to damage that.” He said, “So maybe this is
what you should do. Why don’t you let your family stay home, because you do know
that you get a 30-day leave. So once a year, you can go home to your family,
spend 30 days and then come on back.” Needless to say, that didn’t
resonate for me. So after leaving him,
I went back to personnel, and talking to the clerk, he said, “Jim, I think I have a
solution for you. There’s an airman who is leaving
and he has a trailer. If you noticed, in Mountain Home, there are trailer parks and trailers
all over the place. You can buy his trailer,
and you’d probably get a really good deal because he wants to get out of town
as soon as possible. And that would take care of your problem, and that would provide
the solution for you.” So I immediately jumped in my car,
went downtown, saw the trailer — it was a small trailer, but under the circumstances, I figured that was the
best thing that I could do. So I bought the trailer. And then I asked him,
“Can I just leave the trailer here, and that would take care
of all my problems, I wouldn’t have to find
another trailer park?” He said, “Before I say yes to that,
I need to check with management.” So I get back to the base, he called me back and management said, “No, you can’t leave the trailer here because we had promised that slot
to some other people.” And that was strange to me because there were several
other slots that were open, but it just so happened that he
had promised that slot to someone else. So, what I did — and he said, “You shouldn’t worry, Jim,
because there are a lot of trailer parks.” So I put out another exhaustive list
of going to trailer parks. I went to one after another,
after another. And I got the same kind of rejection there that I received when I was looking
for the apartment. And as a result, the kind of comments
that they made to me, in addition to saying that they
didn’t have any slots open, one person said, “Jim, the reason
why we can’t rent to you, we already have a Negro family
in the trailer park.” He said, “And it’s not me,
because I like you people.” (Laughs) And that’s what I did, too.
I chuckled, too. He said, “But here’s the problem: If I let you in, the other tenants
will move out and I can’t afford to take
that kind of a hit.” He said, “I just can’t rent to you.” Even though that was discouraging,
it didn’t stop me. I kept looking, and I looked at the far end
of the town in Mountain Home, and there was a small trailer park. I mean, a really small trailer park. It didn’t have any paved roads in it, it didn’t have the concrete slabs, it didn’t have fencing to portion off your trailer slot
from other trailer slots. It didn’t have a laundry facility. But the conclusion I reached
at that moment was that I didn’t have
a lot of other options. So I called my wife, and I said,
“We’re going to make this one work.” And we moved into it and we became homeowners
in Mountain Home, Idaho. And of course, eventually
things settled down. Four years after that, I received papers
to move from Mountain Home, Idaho to a place called Goose Bay, Labrador. We won’t even talk about that.
It was another great location. (Laughter) So my challenge then was to get my family
from Mountain Home, Idaho to Sharon, Pennsylvania. That wasn’t a problem because we
had just purchased a brand-new automobile. My mother called
and said she’ll fly out. She’ll be with us as we drive,
she’ll help us manage the children. So she came out, her and Alice
put a lot of food together for the trip. That morning, we left at about 5 a.m. Great trip, having a great time,
good conversation. Somewhere around 6:30, 7 o’clock,
we got a little bit tired, and we said, “Why don’t we get
a motel so that we can rest and then have an early start
in the morning?” So we were looking at a number
of the motels as we drove down the road, and we saw one, it was a great
big, bright flashing light that said, “Vacancies, Vacancies, Vacanies.” So we stopped in. They were in the parking lot,
I went inside. When I walked inside, the lady was just finishing up
one contract with some folks, some other people
were coming in behind me. And so I walked to the counter, and she said, “How can I help you?” I said, “I would like to get a motel
for the evening for my family.” She said, “You know, I’m really sorry,
I just rented the last one. We will not have any more
until the morning.” She said, “But if you go down the road
about an hour, 45 minutes, there’s another trailer park down there.” I said, “Yeah, but you still have the
‘Vacancies’ light on, and it’s flashing.” She said, “Oh, I forgot.” And she reached over
and turned the light off. She looked at me and I looked at her. There were other people in the room. She kind of looked at them.
No one said anything. So I just got the hint and I left,
and went outside to the parking lot. And I told my mother and I told my wife
and also Melanie, and I said, “It looks like we’re going to have to
drive a little bit further down the road to be able to sleep tonight.” And we did drive down the road, but just before we took off
and pulled out of the parking lot, guess what happened? The light came back on. And it said, “Vacancies,
Vacancies, Vacancies.” We were able to find a nice place. It wasn’t our preference,
but it was secure and it was clean. And so we had a great sleep that night. The piece that’s important about that is that we had similar
kinds of experiences from Idaho all the way through
to Pennsylvania, where we were rejected from hotels,
motels and restaurants. But we made it to Pennsylvania. We got the family settled.
Everyone was glad to see the kids. I jumped on a plane and shot off
to Goose Bay, Labrador, which is another story, right? (Laughter) Here it is, 53 years later, I now have nine grandchildren,
two great-grandchildren. Five of the grandchildren are boys. I have master’s, Ph.D., undergrad,
one in medical school. I have a couple that are trending. They’re almost there but not quite.
(Laughter) I have one who has been
in college now for eight years. (Laughter) He doesn’t have a degree yet,
but he wants to be a comedian. So we’re just trying to get him
to stay in school. Because you never know, just because you’re funny at home,
does not make you a comedian, right? (Laughter) But the thing about it,
they’re all good kids — no drugs, no babies
in high school, no crime. So with that being the backdrop, I was sitting in my TV room watching TV, and they were talking about Ferguson
and all the hullabaloo that was going on. And all of a sudden, one of the news
commentators got on the air and she said, “In the last three months, eight unarmed African-American males have been killed by police,
white homeowners, or white citizens.” For some reason, at that moment
it just all hit me. I said, “What is it? It is so insane. What is the hatred that’s causing people
to do these kinds of things?” Just then, one of my grandsons called. He said, “Granddad, did you hear
what they said on TV?” I said, “Yes, I did.” He said, “I’m just so confused. We do everything we do,
but it seems that driving while black, walking while black, talking while black,
it’s just dangerous. What can we do? We do everything
that you told us to do. When stopped by the police, we place both hands on the steering wheel
at the 12 o’clock position. If asked to get identification, we tell them, ‘I am slowly reaching over
into the glove compartment to get my I.D.’ When pulled out of the car to be searched, when laid on the ground to be searched, when our trunks are opened to be searched, we don’t push back, we don’t challenge
because we know, you’ve told us, ‘Don’t you challenge the police. After it’s over, call us and we’ll
be the ones to challenge.” He said, “And this is the piece
that really bugs me: Our white friends, our buddies,
we kind of hang together. When they hear about these kinds
of things happening to us, they say, ‘Why do you take it? You need to push back.
You need to challenge. You need to ask them
for their identification.'” And here’s what the boys have been
taught to tell them: “We know that you can do that,
but please do not do that while we’re in the car because the consequences for you
are significantly different than the consequences for us.” And so as a grandparent,
what do I tell my grandsons? How do I keep them safe?
How do I keep them alive? As a result of this, people have
come to me and said, “Jim, are you angry?” And my response to that is this: “I don’t have the luxury of being angry, and I also know the consequences
of being enraged.” So therefore, the only thing that I can do is take my collective intellect and my
energy and my ideas and my experiences and dedicate myself to challenge,
at any point in time, anything that looks
like it might be racist. So the first thing I have
to do is to educate, the second thing I have to do
is to unveil racism, and the last thing I need to do
is do everything within my power to eradicate racism in my lifetime
by any means necessary. The second thing I do is this: I want to appeal to Americans. I want to appeal to their humanity,
to their dignity, to their civic pride and ownership to be able to not react to these
heinous crimes in an adverse manner. But instead, to elevate your level
of societal knowledge, your level of societal awareness
and societal consciousness to then collectively come together,
all of us come together, to make sure that we speak out against
and we challenge any kind of insanity, any kind of insanity that makes it
okay to kill unarmed people, regardless of their ethnicity, regardless of their race, regardless of their diversity makeup. We have to challenge that.
It doesn’t make any sense. The only way I think we can do that
is through a collective. We need to have black and white
and Asian and Hispanic just to step forward and say, “We are not going to accept
that kind of behavior anymore.”

100 thoughts on “James A. White Sr.: The little problem I had renting a house

  1. EL RACISMO SOMOS TODOS, SOLO ES EL COLOR BLANCO, NEGRO, AMARILLO, COBRIZO,ETC. YO AMO CON TODO MI CORAZON EL COLOR NEGRO, NEGRO MIS OJOS, NEGRO MIS LUNARES, NEGRO MI PELO, NEGRO MIS CEJAS, NEGROS MIS PESTANAS. LIFE & LIVE 2015 

  2. Excellent talk .

  3. YO AMO CON TODO MI CORAZON LA RAZA NEGRA AYER, HOY Y SIEMPRE Y PARA SIEMPRE HASTA EL INFINITO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LIFE & LIVE 2015.

  4. A sad story from many years in the past about the bigoted US. And as I have heard, things haven't changed all that much. It is a shame.

  5. This really sucks.  Sometimes I am so embarrassed and ashamed to be American and white.  This guy would be an asset to any community he lived him.

    Is it not obvious that Michael Brown is of a different world than this man and his family?

    You ask why this happens to black people … it doesn't usually happen to people like these guys, but yes, sometimes it does, but it also happens to random people and white people.  I don't challenge anything he says, but I don't think he knows the class of black people that a lot of police officers run into.

  6. The man has my sympathy for the racism he faced as a young Airmen. It is regrettable that the attitudes he faced persisted as long as they did. His conclusion is laudable, and I hope he is successful. 

    That said, drawing connections to what happened in Ferguson as an attempt to legitimize his position has the opposite effect. Michael Brown assaulted Officer Darren Wilson in the car, fighting over the gun. When the shot was fired in the Car, he abandoned that attempt, and tried to run away. Officer Darren Wilson then exited the car, and ordered Michael Brown to stop or freeze, and I presume get on the ground as well. At this point in the altercation, Michael Brown turned and charged Officer Darren Wilson; having already demonstrated the intent and the ability to bring lethal force against the officer, and with the opportunity becoming readily available as he closed the distance to the Officer, Michael Browns attack met the Deadly Force Triangle, and posed an immediate threat to the Officer's life.

    Referencing Michael Brown, tarnishes the validity of the rest of his statements. Just because a Person is Unarmed does not mean they do not pose a threat. As it is said, God created Man and Woman, but Sam Colt made them equal.

  7. Both communities need hero of patience like this guy, or society will suffer.

  8. Profound. You can apply this to any oppressed people in the world. 

  9. Here's an example of the insanity he talked about. Ignorant people commenting that this talk was nonsense because there are a lot of black criminals. By the same logic, all white people are thieving bankers, because a lot of thieving bankers are white, and all Chinese are martial artists, because Bruce Lee.

  10. Racism is inherent.

  11. 8 unarmed black men were killed by police officers and white homeowners in the US over the course of 3 months during the Ferguson debacle?  He doesn't mention how many unarmed black men were killed by other black men during that same period.  It isn't a matter of race anymore.  It's not the black kids born to a married Airman that are at risk, and Mr. White should be able to recognize that.  It's the 75% of all black children that are born to single parents that are put at risk.  Homicide is the leading cause of death among black men between the ages of 15 and 34, and it isn't white people doing the killing. 

  12. "the illusion of separation is the foundation of fear, and fear is the foundation for anger."

  13. i was thinking "oh hes well spoken" jesus every since i heard that i always think it when i hear a black person talking, i feel so racist

  14. That kind of racism i can not understand, these people are no different to anyone else except from the color of their skin.

    Here in Europé and Russia we have a different kind of problem. Racism in USA is mostly about skin color and about the ways people speak, but here it is more about religion. 

    And this means that the racism comes from both sides. A European Christian can not accept the views of an European Muslim, and the other way around.

    The result of this is that both sides are right, that both sides have the law on their sides when it comes to expressing their views. What is not right is to use violence to try to convince someone that his views or religion is wrong. That is where terrorism comes in. Terrorism is mainly an expression of poor views of human equality and bad education. There would not be as much extremists in the World would everyone get equal education, and without being taught religion in school.

    No, i'm not talking about teaching historical religion, that is fine, and absolutely necessary to get a fair view of why our society is as it is today. What i am completely against is to have schools providing education on the grounds of religion. Trying to brainwash our children from a young age just to benefit the cause of the religion. 

    And what's just as bad is the situation in many countries (mainly muslim countries), where Girls and boys are not allowed to go to the same school.or read from the same books. In some countries females are not even allowed to study at all. Final. Now that is injustice!

    There is only one way to to fight racism, and that is education. But we also need to have understanding and acceptance.

    Here in Sweden for example, we have a lot of people who come here, but they refuse to learn and use Swedish as their main language. This makes it extremely hard to communicate and share experiences between nationalities even under the same roof at work. There are times when i actually feel alien at work, after thirteen years in the same Place, because at times there are so much arabic languages spoken. Should i really have to accept that in my own country?

    Is the meaning that a country should have to loose both it's religion, identity and it's language? Just because some people will not accept different religion or skin color?

  15. How dare anyone treat a fellow veteran the way they treated him and his family.  Over what?  the color of his skin?  That is unacceptable in any free society.

  16. Problem renting?

    Was the rent too damn high?

    Sorry. Couldn't resist.

  17. Should have moved to Canada, we like everyone as long as they watch Hockey ;D

  18. This is SO beautiful as a Ted talk, or any other talk I've heard. Kudos, blessings, and cheers to this wondrous man for being the kind and caring human being he currently is, as has always been. I pray for his wellbeing and for the wellbeing of all his kin left here on Earth. I have enjoy this talk so much, that I want to know if anyone else knows where I can find a wonderful story like this on Ted? Stories like this make me happy and sad at the same time, and his is really moves me.

  19. As a black man I'm surprised to find that level of naivety from someone his age. Although I respect his idealism and his level of belief in humanity he doesn't understand human nature. Man has been killing, raping and pillaging one another since the beginning of times with no signs of slowing down. On the contrary the rate of man's violence towards one another has only increased and will continue to do so. If you want to survive play the game, before you go learn and master it then go out there and play it to the T.

  20. he's a wonderful man!

  21. I'm a white male privileged shitlord and I applaud this man. Racism is still very real in many parts of the world and it's a terrible burden to the human race. I've experienced a form of discrimination myself, being born to a white national minority in the wrong white country and I've felt what discrimination feels like. I am fully aware that escaping discrimination is not as simple for most people as changing their surname.

    I hope we all grow up to treat people purely as individuals, regardless of race, nationality or gender one day. Merit is the only scale one should be judged on.

    I kind of feel some respect for some of the people in this man's story, who had the guts to tell this man why they rejected him. "We're worried that if we accept you, we'll lose several of our existing customers, who don't appreciate your kind around here". In a capitalistic fight for survival, this is the sad reality. Not every man can afford to follow his principles, and that's a sand state indeed.

    I wish more people would fight the little fights for equality where it matters, rather than choosing the popular ones where they hope to make a name for themselves.

  22. Yea!!! From Sweden!!!

  23. An unarmed person can kill a cop.  Why is this so hard to comprehend?

  24. Wowie Wow Wow, I did NOT expect as much blatant racism in the comments as is present. If anything, I expected the opposite: the loving internet standing up for equality and freedom. I am absolutely taken back and deeply sickened how many people are flat out admitting to being racist, and then defending it as if it's "a difference of opinion". It boils my blood to the point that I'm unable to form coherent, reasonable responses. Do this many of you really harbor such disgusting hatred for other humans?

  25. Thank you sir for your service! I appreciate all that you do to educate people about the issues of racism in our country. I also appreciate your thoughtful remarks.

  26. The comments down here are exhausting to read. It's seems like the past 60 years have changed nothing.

  27. Great man : )  thank you for these words. The world needs more people like he already is. And I am full of hope that WE will make it !

  28. Wait, this afroamerican-racist stuff is still widely spreaded in the usa?
    Honestly i thought it's a long gone past for the US.

  29. I would like to ask this guy, would you preferred to be born white? And wonder what his answer would be? His life would of been much easier right?

  30. Thank you Mr White for this presentation.  Thank you a thousand times,  You speak with your heart and without illusions.  Changes – real changes – do not happen from simple wishes.  Real changes happens because of people like James A. White Sr, people who see what is wrong, who know in their gut what is wrong, and come forward with love.  Not with anger, but with love.  Love of what we are all.  And so he's not telling: «you should do this and that».  He's not telling «you shouldn't do this, nor that».  He's showing you, in the knowing that we are all the same in our heart.  Showing the absurdity of what is going on and the pain that it inflicts to others.  I hear someone who want to liberate his fellows from racism.  Racism is just a belief, a belief that skin colour has something to do with what who and what one is.  Just a belief.

  31. The #1 reason for racism is black behavior. Nothing will change unless blacks start acting more civilized. Good black ppl need to keep the bad blacks in line if they want to eliminate racism. My opinion.

  32. I just don't get it… Racisme is a cancer (it's a dysfunction of a proper intellect and well functioning organisme…)

  33. Mr. White, you do an excellent job distilling the message that I know a lot of minorities just want to scream about (myself included). It's exhausting having to explain extremely basic things to people of privilege, but it's unfortunately extremely necessary. 

  34. I can somewhat empathise with those back then who don't want to sacrifice their business in the interests of racial fairness, especially as this was before integration. But what I find despicable, is the fact that modern police are permitted to get away with institutional racism nowadays. The government at every level needs to hold them accountable.

    On which note, I was heartened to learn this week that the Police force in Ferguson was investigated by the government. Now if we can just get the bigots out of government. But how to eliminate an entire party…

  35. No room at the inn. How very Christian.

  36. "WHOO! WHOO! WHOO!" – calm yourself person at the end

  37. Great message. I would have liked to hear a specific call to action at the end.

  38. It works both ways dude.  You think whites don't get discriminated against by blacks?  They don't get shot, robbed and killed by police also?  I think TED is now high on my delete list….

  39. Let's say I don't participate in this "everyday racism" described in the video, and do not recall having witnessed it first-hand. I'm aware racism like this exists, and if I encounter it I'll try my best to bring it to the public's attention.  That said, what am I supposed to take away from this video?

  40. Why didn't he just take his family and live on the air force base like most soldiers?

  41. good thing he said they're all good kids: 9:16
      – no drugs
      – no babies in high school (could you imagine?)
      – no crime
    He had a chance, he just blew the whole conference for me… He thinks giving life is a crime, he might have a point in his talk somewhere but it's overshadowed by his own bigotry.

  42. Americans are as racist as ever.

  43. Dear Mr White.  With great humility I wish to convey my deepest sympathy for the hardships your life journey has witnessed.  It is still unbearable to me to consider the pain and anguish that you and your family must have felt through these decades.

    I believe that the answer is this:  our society needs to acknowledge that we promote Power Culture in most aspects of public life. Power causes fear, anger and apathy.  We must replace our current Power Culture with a new Care Culture.  Care causes contentment, courage and action.  You care about this issue.  Society needs to learn from you, how to care also.  Power is the disease.  Care is the cure.

  44. This has been a great speech. I envy the way in which Mr White Sr. does not place blame, rather he is fully focused on eradicating racial prejudice. I myself have a small degree racial prejudices which I must overcome, I am young and I am growing and working on these things everyday.
    Thank you for your words Mr White Sr.

  45. I loved it! 

  46. As someone who lives in Newfoundland and Labrador, I'd really like to hear his Goose Bay Labrador story. Google Lanier Phillips for another man's story of how different his experience in NL was from the USA.

  47. I saw a black man with his coach collecting donations in front of a Marshall Fields store for their high school basketball team. People didn't give them any money even though they really looked legit. They were actually selling chocolates for money so they weren't asking for free cash technically. But people looked at them in an incriminating way as if they were posing as such to deceive people. Their collection bin was literally empty. I felt sad and gave the young man 20 bucks and said I don't need any chocolate. He looked at me with genuine respect. I suspect it's not because of the 20 dollars but because it meant I saw him differently. If we don't lower our guard and equally treat minorities then they will find solace in other identities and never assimilate. Think of how all white people of the many differing cultures of Europe, who used to war one another, assimilated in America. We need to do the same here.

  48. black people tell great stories.

  49. one question what it's the provenance of black murders to white?

  50. The comments on this video serve only to reinforce this man's point.

    I thank God I live in the UK, because racism appears to be endemic in the USA.

  51. Last Year in San Mateo, California (considered a liberal town) a friend of mine who is 65 years old and black was refused an apartment because of the color of his skin. This kind of stuff is a lot more prevalent than people realize. 

  52. As a minority in my own country, I can understand all the things he said. We just  dont have the liberty to be angry/

  53. And as can be expected, the comments strongly align with Mr White's story.

  54. Im going to repost this as a comment to the video and not just a reply to a comment.
    Honestly,I think we should go as far as to stop referring to each other as different races. I think its use shouldnt be applied when the one race among us is the human race. Let different races stick to fantasy and scifi until there is a actual different race,be it 10,000 years from now if we meet aliens in space travel or if it turns out that fantasy isnt so fictional (this part is a joke :P). So, fantasy joke aside, I dont believe we should refer to members of the human race as different races,its implies more difference then there is and causes people to think theres lines to be drawn.

  55. Mr. White – I sympathize with you in regards to the shoddy treatment you received – both during your military service, and during the following years of your life.   But – during the three month period that those "eight unarmed African American males" were killed by police, there were probably at least 80 African American males gunned down in just Chicago alone – by other African American males.  The energy you expend combating racism "by any means necessary" might better be spent – at least from the standpoint of saving African American lives – by combating black cultural violence in the black communities of America.

    It is obvious to me that you and your family – although black and discriminated against – grew up within white cultural America – and far removed from the black feral urban culture of "crabs in a bucket" – with the n'er do wells dragging back into the bucket any aspiring  soul who tries to rise on the merits of what the ghettos rats consider to be "whitey culture"  – good education, two-parent family, and responsibility.

    The chances that your descendents will be assaulted or killed by white Americans – even police – is vanishingly small, compared to the likelihood that they will experience violence at the hands of other blacks, should they be so unwise as to ever enter a typical black urban jungle.

  56. I would be very proud to have a father or grandfather like this sir.

  57. Two sides to the coin?

  58. My dad went through that people would not pump our gas now everybody does it. We would always go to Canada ware they did not have the same history so you go to a restraint people of all races eating together. This was in the 60's and 70's It was like New York City in the country.   

  59. Maybe it's just me, but I don't "get" racism. I am white, and I've been told that it's a good thing because people are preferential to white men. But I don't understand why.

    Why is it OK to prefer some one with a genetic code that the person in question couldn't control? Why is someone who had a darker complexion bad, because they have a darker complexion? Why was is wrong to be a Jew in Berlin in 1940?

    Maybe I'm not the right person to be asking these questions, because I… well, I don't why. But I still want to know why. Why is it OK for these people to act this way? Or why do they think it's OK?

  60. Keep in mind this racism occurred 53 years ago, back in 1962, and in the rural far north.

  61. how could anyone not agree

  62. Now the discrimination has spread out to smokers. Harder to get a job – can't get a apartment… sound familiar?

  63. best Ted talk ever!

  64. I could not imagine dealing with life under those conditions, I wonder what happened in labrador

  65. Agreed. "We have to, collectively, challenge insanity"

  66. "When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind. "

    – Jiddu Krishnamurti

  67. Thank you for speaking.
    A calm and reasonable outlook on how to move forward.

  68. hmmm i dont know ,this guy looks shady

  69. You Sir are a credit to the Human Race

  70. Guilt trip
    xoxo

  71. for the past 6 year America has had a screaming BLACK RACIST in the white house …and this affirmative action racist and his putrid wife are doing their best to destroy America for both blacks and whites I WONDER WHAT THIS SPEAKER THINKS OF OBAMA THE LIAR

  72. I absolutely agree, racism is bad and should be called out any time anyone sees it.  The problem is that the beginning of his story had little to do with recent events.  It does not mater what color you are in the slightest, if you attack a police officer they will defend themselves.  No, not every case that has come to light recently was justified, I'm not saying that.  Just take a step back every time one of these stories comes up and try to look at both sides critically.

  73. The solution is simple: have the WOMAN while carrying the KIDS ask for the room. Women and kids are seen as less threatening.
    No it's not right to treat people different but let's be smarter not just indignant.

  74. What does this guy know about discrimination and oppression? Doesn't he realise that there are prostitutes in some video games, or that women who choose low paying jobs earn less than they otherwise could? I think he needs a little perspective. Typical male.

  75. I learn from this talk that patience is not an expectation, it is a strategy.  Anger is a luxury for a dominant culture, and consequentially dangerous for an oppressed culture.  That is a brilliant expression of privilege and risk.
    Educate, unveil, empower.  I got to start with myself.  This is beautiful.  I've been on the angry route, tried the sell out route, and finally understand that I can make my own route.  This is reminder that discrimination will be an obstacle, but I can be creatively joyful getting by, over, under, through, and around it, eventually learning enough about it to live with it. 

  76. strong in words and wisdom

  77. Interesting story James.. We all have to appose racism.

  78. You mean to tell me that there has been  racial segregation in America? That's terrible. Why, there ought to be a law against that. Oh, wait a minute. There has been for more than fifty years.

    As far as what to tell your grandsons, I've got an idea. Tell them not to commit a strong armed robbery, walk down the middle of the street in traffic, try to wrestle the gun away from the police officer who is ordering them to the sidewalk, or charge the officer when he is pursuing them and tells them to halt. Do that and they'll be fine.

    As far as Ferguson being "a heinous crime," not only was Wilson not indicted, the Obama Justice Department couldn't even find a way to hang a civil rights charge on him, when the Good Lord knows, they wanted to so badly that their teeth hurt. Which facts make your rant delusional.

  79. Racism exists everywhere in the world. Unfortunately! It is a long way to go.

  80. I thought this is a video about finance…

  81. I don't think that nowadays is anymore issue between whites and blacks. The real war is between Poor and Rich. No one cares if you are black, white,asian, green, yellow, UFO…whatever as long as you have $$$$$. So is not about skin color is about POWER!

  82. I hope whoever form the TED organization reads this dwells on what I'm saying real hard.  I find it very offensive that every time you have a black male speaker at one of your events, it's always someone talking about racism, or race relations, or their experience as a black man.  I have YET to see a black speaker at one of your events talking about science, technology, economics, economic equality, engineering, infrastructures, urban planning, etc.

    I have news for you folks, there are black scientists, there are black engineers, there are black architects, there are black people who experts on infrastructures, who work in urban planning, who are contributing to society, who have more depth than the black speakers you people choose to have at your events.

    I hope you people dwell on this, and dwell on it hard!

  83. A brilliant man. Its truly unfortunate how he and many others have to endure such actions even to this day.

  84. To be fair: hearing his name on the phone really raises wrong expectations. 

  85. White people are just as racist as ever.

  86. Racism can stop once you realize we are the same color, every last one of us. The color is "Earth".

  87. BOOHOO

  88. The hard part is overcoming instinct with intellect.  Humans evolved (yes, that evil word) the ability do distinguish otherness, since this would be a potential threat.  Anything different from the self and family unit is potentially dangerous.  Basic survival instinct.  Now, however, we're faced with trying to overcome 100,000+ years of instincts.  Can the intellect of humans surpass base instinct?  Yes.  The tolerance shown in recent years around the world is much greater than it used to be.  Still has a loooooooooooong way to go, though.

  89. I joined the AF in 1982. I went from Delaware to Washington D.C. to swear in. It was my 2 recruiters and I, in a van. On the way back, they stopped at a restaurant in Md. They turned to me and asked if I wanted anything, this restaurant doesn't serve blacks.
    Oh, I got stationed in Ms (Biloxi), life never was the same after deciding to serve my country.

  90. Everyone MUST watch this!!!

  91. A revisit…our president should be saying this too..why doesn't he?

  92. That major was a poor leader: his primary mission should have been to take care of his men!

  93. I know this man personally. What I got out of the many talks with him about this is we as Blacks don't get the respect as others. He is a very professional man. Many of you don't see what even people of color who are professional dont get treated the same as others. Just because of our color we are treated as if we had a disease that is contagious. Not all African Americans act ghetto. A lot of us have since enough to be shown some respect from other races. A lot of black people act different do to their surroundings, how they were brought up. Just today I had a conversation with him about the violence going on and last nite a young man lost his life because he chose to live that way. We as black people need to wake the heck up and smell the coffee. HATRED CAN VANISH IF WE AS PEOPLE BEGAIN TO SEE EACH OTHER AS EQUALS.

  94. That's LOVE TALKING !!!

  95. 77 fucking racists

  96. I wondered if anyone was racist to me how would I think and behave. I don't think I would continue to live in that society and people. I won't call upon their conscience. I'd leave that bunch of people for another place where I'd obviously be be more inspired to create a better life and focus on competing in capability in all spheres. There are amazing places in the world, islands, countries that need more people to take them ahead. He World is Earth not USA.

    Soon enough a lot of world will realise USA is really like South Africa, on which an embargo was placed by UN for much of its modern life for apartheid. The issue of racism with good blacks is they are between deep sea and the devil. If they go back to Africa it's worse they will get raped and slaughtered. If they stay in US they face daily prejudice. They just have an option to try and get by with respect.

    South America. That's a good place to go and give your good labour. You have to leave.

  97. Mr. James A. White, I'd like to say something to you; You are a real God blessed child to have been bestowed a great loving heart filled with understanding and peace of mind. I wish I were a friend of yours. You got so much to teach from what I see here.

  98. "I don't have the luxury of being angry" – I just love this part of the speech.

  99. Little đọc như thế nào ah lít tờ à

  100. Problem goes straight to birth isn't. Who program us to favor to white.

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