New Haven, CT — Robert Pellegrino believes all men are created equal.
His life has been defined by those words and in his effort to change the mindsets of how whites perceive blacks, he has penned a book called I See Color, which documents his journey educating himself on the issue of race — from personal relationships and experiences.
Pellegrino, 58, who’s Italian/Irish and is married to a black woman, said the idea of the book’s title was largely due to the common assertion by some whites who say they don’t see color.
“It’s a lie, we see color — black and white when dealing with one another,” Pellegrino said. “It’s disrespectful. In order for me to see you, I have to erase your color and part of who you are.”
The book offers white Americans solutions to challenge racial stereotypes, tendencies and unconscious habits toward blacks. It deals directly with the issue of race relations between blacks and whites, while providing a plan for America to reach its goal of equality between the races. It provides a blueprint needed for America to reach its final goal of equality between the races. It details common issues with white liberal thinking and provides both analysis and solutions to reduce the hidden, and often unconscious, racism therein.
New Haven defense attorney Michael Jefferson said Pellegrino’s book was long overdue and a must-read for whites.
“Blacks can also greatly benefit from much of what the book has to offer. Bob takes a no-holds-barred approach when discussing racism,” said Jefferson, who’s the author of Deo Vindice: The Resurrection.
“He is brutally honest about his own social development regarding race and those close to him. Thankfully he dispenses with polite and accommodating jargon that often accompanies most discussions around race and gets right down to what is commonly referred to as the nitty-gritty.”
Pellegrino believes there is a level of disrespect from white people regarding blacks, which stems from the long documented history of racism in America.
“You can’t teach me anything,” said Pellegrino, speaking about how he believes most whites view blacks.
Pellegrino says, “There is a difference between racism and prejudice; racism has a superiority component built in. It’s the ability to suppress based upon the belief I’m superior to you.”
In the book, Pellegrino admits it took him 30 years to reduce his own racism. In the chapter, “The Man in the Mirror,” Pellegrino provides a simple process for whites to rid racist habits.
The process includes an open heart and mind, dropping the denial, letting go of old attitudes and beliefs, seeking out information and knowledge on race relations from those affected by it most — African Americans, implement what we learn and have patience, persistence, practice and perseverance to be successful.
I See Color is available on paperback for $17.78 at Amazon.com
Pellegrino is available for book signings and speaking engagements. Follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ISeeColorTheBook/