The interviews for the Whiteness Project—a new series from PBS and documentary filmmaker Whitney Dow—are varied, succinct, and candid. “Because slavery happened, does that mean we owe Black people something?” asks one participant, who continues with other, similar observations. “I think it's hard to talk about race as a White person because, maybe, Black people are just looking for a reason to tell you why you're wrong, or tell you why you owe them something,” he said. “I just don't buy into that nonsense about discrimination,” says a doctor. He insists: “If you have it upstairs, and you really commit to doing what you want to do with your life, I don't think race has anything to do with anything.”
These interviews are just the first part in a larger series, and already, they’re valuable. It’s rare that White Americans talk about race. It’s even rarer that they do so on camera. And it’s rarer still that they reveal ignorance, confess to prejudices, and share their fears.