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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Barbara Lorie, February 26, 2001. Interview K-0211. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Impact of racism on whites

Lorie explains the psychological impact of racism on whites. She argues that white isolation from colored peoples produced a superiority complex. She maintains that television reaffirms white culture as dominant, but increasing television addictions further isolates whites from other races and cultures.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Barbara Lorie, February 26, 2001. Interview K-0211. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

You've answered a lot of my questions as we went along, which is wonderful. There are two things that you said, one of them which was: you referred to - I think this was very astute - both blacks and whites as being victims. Which seems to be very much the case. Could you talk about that a little bit? I guess more on the white side, whites as victims as well.
We are so limited in our worldview, white people. We are missing out on the great cultural beauties that three-fourths of the world have to offer. We are in our own culture, we have missed out. You know, we think Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, and whoever, have got to be it. But all of our music in this country comes from black people. And anybody who denies that if full of it, you know? Blues, and jazz, and gospel, are the foundation of modern music worldwide. It's not just in the United States. You go to Africa, you go to Morocco, you go to England, you go to Egypt, you go anywhere and you hear the roots that have come from the diaspora of blacks in the world. And that's true of Latinos, of Asians. We are so limited because we have been dealt this superiority complex historically. The rigidity of our white superiority has denied us the glories of other cultures to be integrated within our lives. I feel that so deeply. I can't tell you how strongly I feel that we have been denied the knowledge, the prescience, the joy of other cultures by he limitations of our own western education. So it wasn't until integration that you finally had blacks saying, "Hello, we're here." The center, what is it, the Sonja B. Haynes Center that is being built is such a marvelous thing right there in the middle of the… "Sorry, honeys. We're right here in the middle of this white campus. Here we are." I love it, I love it. I just think it is about time, you know? We're only a hundred years late, a couple of hundred years. So I feel very sorry for white people who are so rigid in their beliefs and their traditions that it limits them in what they read, what they listen to on the radio, what they watch on television. Of course, we shouldn't watch television anyway, because that's the biggest addiction of the world right now. That they don't step outside and see what the glories are of other cultures. That's mainly what I feel as a white person. I feel very strongly about television. I feel it is such a terrible drug. It's so far worse than any drug, so far worse than heroine, and crack cocaine, and dope, it is the drug of the world. And we have done it. The white culture, and white men, mostly, have done it. White Anglo Saxon men, thank you very much, are people who have laid this culture out as the culture. When you go to Egypt and you see "Dallas" on the television, for god's sake, what the hell is that all about? Give me strength! It's insane, it's total insanity. "Ah, I love you." And nails hanging off their fingernails like fangs. Okay, in answer to that, that's enough.