Racial Equity

Who Will “Us” Be?

June 29, 2014  • The Bridge

There have long been two notions of what it means to be American: one is civic and colorblind, found in our Constitution and creed; the other, quite simply, is about being white. For much of our history, whiteness and Americanness were treated as the same. But now they are becoming delinked: being white is no longer the default for being American. This has generated so much of the turbulence and angst of our current political culture. And this shift now puts everyone to the test: Will white Americans learn to let go of their implicit primacy, and will Americans of color learn to elevate the submerged American creed and embrace it? This is the challenge of our moment: to define “all-American” in terms that both embrace and transcend race.  In 2024, what will it mean to be “an American?”

Speakers: Anand Giridharadas, Eric Liu, Michele Norris, Paul Taylor, Monica Lozano