HomeAsian Americans'White People' Inspires Passionate Discussion about Race in America

‘White People’ Inspires Passionate Discussion about Race in America

Jose Antonio Vargas

By Elizabeth Kim

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas’s new documentary White People sparked conversations about race and White privilege on Twitter after airing Tuesday evening on MTV.

The documentary follows Vargas as he travels the country talking to young people about issues of race, particularly about the White experience and role of White privilege in America.

Some of the highlights include a White student attending a historically Black college and his interaction with other students on campus, a visit to a Native American school to explore the dynamic between the White teachers and Native American students, and a trek into a Brooklyn neighborhood where Asians are now the majority.

Many have praised the documentary via Twitter for initiating the difficult discussions about race and the systemic oppression of racism in America.

Entertainment Weekly tweeted:


Others voiced concurring thoughts with the points Vargas makes in the documentary.

There has also been a lot of contention on Twitter regarding White people experiencing discrimination especially in terms of scholarships to higher education.


Vargas and viewers promoted their messages using the hashtag #WhitePeople and the handles @DefineAmerican and @emergingUS, which are both media groups that advocate conversations about race, immigration and multiculturalism.

Some criticized the documentary, however, and advised White audiences to use discretion while watching the documentary, or even not to watch the documentary.

Two critics said Vargas failed to provoke deep and thoughtful conversations and talked with many assumptions about White people, reports Slate.

Others also voiced negative views of the documentary.

Both Vargas and MTV suggest viewers learn more and continue the conversation on race by going to race.lookdifferent.org

Vargas is perhaps best known for his revealing story as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine in 2011.

“You cannot have a conversation about race in this country and not include White people in it,” said Vargas.

You can watch the entire 40 minute documentary below.

Jose Varga’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/joseiswriting



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