Watch: Rinku Sen wants to tear down racial hierarchy

Rinku Sen, publisher of, president and executive director of the Applied Research Center, and overall feminist badass and warrior for racial justice, opened the Facing Race 2012 Conference in Baltimore this past weekend with a stirring call for activism. I dare you to watch this and not get goosebumps.

I’ll be pasting this up on my wall:

I don’t want to reverse the racial hierarchy. I want to take it apart. I want to change the course of human evolution. People say that racism is endemic to human beings. That we hate the stranger. That we need to protect ourselves. That we’re going to behave tribally because that’s who we are.

But I don’t think we have to live that way. I don’t think that we have to refuse to answer the door when a mother whose children have been swept away by a hurricane knocks on it asking for help. I don’t think that we have to be sheared down to the thing that is least important about us, our skin color. I think we can be actual full human beings. And I think that we can change the way that human beings see each other, not by applying some bankrupt concept of color blindness that has no grounding in reality, but by demanding what we really want, which is the taking apart of the racial hierarchy.

For the full video, and more, check out the Colorlines web site and YouTube channel. I apologize that we don’t have the full transcript of the speech available — fair readers, would any of you like to help us out create one? We’d be forever grateful.

Join the Conversation