Washington Secrets

Soledad O'Brien: 'OK, white person, this is a conversation you clearly are uncomfortable with'

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Politics,TV,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Soledad O'Brien, recently yanked from her morning show "Starting Point" on CNN, plans to continue her focus on racial issues and is charging that whites are afraid of dealing with the nation's black-white division.

O'Brien, just named a distinguished visiting fellow at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, told the school's Institute of Politics that she's often confronted by whites who want to take issue with her documentaries on race in America.

"People would sometimes, when I give speeches, stand up and say, 'You know, I think your black America documentaries (are) divisive. I think like, you know, listen, we shouldn't think of ourselves as African-American. We're Americans, and everybody should stop separating themselves out,'" she said in a new video from the institute.

She continued: "First of all, it's only white people who ever said that — 'if we could just see beyond race. If only people didn't see race, it would be such a better place, and you are responsible for bringing up these icky race issues, Soledad, you should just let sleeping dogs lie.'"

O'Brien added: "I was like, again, 'OK, white person, this is a conversation you clearly are uncomfortable with, and I have no problem seeing race, and I think we should talk about race."

O'Brien is an award-winning correspondent who hosted and developed "Black in America," one of CNN's most successful international franchises.

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