Tim Wise, an anti-racism activist and writer, drew a large crowd of students, faculty and staff into Tuohy Hall’s auditorium this month when he spoke candidly about issues of discrimination.
Wise was enthusiastically introduced by Raymond D’Angelo, Ph.D., chair of the social sciences department, who rattled off the Wise’s accomplishments — including speaking to hundreds of colleges and universities across the country about racism and discrimination, and starring in “White Like Me,” a 2013 documentary based on his memoir by the same title.
A longtime fan of Wise, D’Angelo cited Wise in his 2012 book, “Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Race and Ethnicity.”
“It’s with admiration on behalf of the faculty, staff and students of St. Joseph’s College, I welcome Tim Wise to our campus,” D’Angelo said at the March 12 event.
Wise, who has also written “Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama” and several other books, discussed the Black Lives Matter movement and other social instances riddled with discrimination.
When the international Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013 — following George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American teenager from Miami Gardens, Florida — a surge of people started piggy-backing off the slogan, but changing it to “All” Lives Matter, Wise explained.
The All Lives Matter rebuttal was problematic, because white lives always mattered more in American society, Wise said.
“Black lives, historically, don’t matter,” Wise said. “White lives always mattered, but black lives were less obvious … We have a long history of saying ‘all’ but not really meaning it.”
Wise also mentioned President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again,” explaining that America was never “great” in past years for minority groups, the LGBT community, or even women.