Although not everyone is able to digest radical honesty about racism, Saira Rao is here to talk about it in a courageous and raw way. In this episode, Chantal and Saira talk about racism and how white supremacy and saviorism are still a massive problem in a world where everyone is more racist than they would like to admit. They also talk about how Saira makes this situation visible through projects like her movie, Deconstructing Karen, her book, White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better and the discussion space Race To Dinner.
About Our Guest
Saira Rao is a co-founder and Creative Director of In This Together Media, a book packaging company of children’s fiction with greater diversity in terms of gender, race, sexual orientation, and experience. She is the author of Chambermaid (Grove Press) and The Madlands (forthcoming). Previously, Saira was a television news producer in Washington D.C., and Miami; a policy associate at the Center for Educational Innovation at The Manhattan Institute; a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; and a lawyer at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York City. Saira is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the New York University School of Law.
Saira Rao (Democratic Party) ran for election to the U.S. House to represent Colorado’s 1st Congressional District. She lost in the Democratic primary on June 26, 2018. She launched a movie named Deconstructing Karen at the same time she launched with Regina Jackson “White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better”. Saira co-founds Race To Dinner with Regina Jackson which is a space to discuss with radical honesty different topics that are not talked about enough in this patriarchal and racist society.
Insights from this episode:
—Saira’s journey to being a self-constructed best seller author
—Difficulties in achieving profit with Race To Dinner
—Dealing with the reviews of Saira’s book “White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better”
—Applying for a job as a woman of color
—Positive white identity
—How can black women be in a community with non-black women
—Saira’s son and how he experiences racism in school
—Black women in the technology industry
—White supremacy as the status quo
—Community building between white women
—What is next in Saira’s professional life
Quotes from the show:
“[About the book] This is deprogramming and it’s painful, at first it is really painful, it’s confusing” —Saira Rao, Emerging Women Podcast.
“[About work situations where women of color are left aside] We’ve intentionally interviewed a bunch of black, indigenous, latina, and asian women in different professions to show it doesn’t matter if you’re a latina woman in Seattle or a black woman in Florida, it’s the same” —Saira Rao, Emerging Women Podcast.
“In order for us to do community, we need to stand strong in our claiming of our identity, whatever that means to us and that also means unraveling what we’ve been socialized to believe who we are” —Chantal Pierrat, Emerging Women Podcast.
“There is no perfection without white skin so I don’t have a chance, Regina [Jackson] doesn’t have a chance, so white skin is a necessary but insufficient component of perfectionism” —Saira Rao, Emerging Women Podcast.
“If you all are competing with each other to be the thinnest, the prettiest, have the best hair, have the best looking husbands, have the smartest best looking children, have the best homes, how can you be in community with each other? ” —Saira Rao, Emerging Women Podcast.