This is for my white American readers. Maybe you already know all of this, but just in case:
- America is still racist. The old Jim Crow racism that the Klan loved is mostly dead, of course, but a much more subtle colour-blind racism has taken its place. It is weaker than the old kind, and it has allowed the growth of a black middle-class, but it is still racism all the same. The words and actions of white people in mixed company have changed far more than their hearts and minds.
- Most whites are blind to their own racism. Because it does not affect them or anyone they love. The anything-but-race argument, like “It is economics not race”, is part of this blindness. Whites can afford to be blind to it like that, blacks cannot. That is why blacks seem so “sensitive”, why they seem to see racism that is not there (you think).
- You are racist. You might not think you are, but you are. America was built on racism and still runs on it. It is still an important part of how white Americans think about themselves and the world. You cannot grow up in America and escape it.
- Blacks are racist too. But blacks do not have the kind of power in society that whites do through the courts, the police, the banks, the newspapers, the film industry and so on. Also, black racism is more turned in on blacks themselves than against white people.
- Nearly half of Black America is middle-class. You would not know that from watching television or if you live in white suburbia – both of which were built by white racism and serve to keep you away from flesh-and-blood black people.
- Snoop Dogg is not black. Well, he is in the strict sense of the word, but most of his “blackness” is a put-on to entertain white people. In the old days it was called a minstrel show. Michelle Obama, despite all her money and education, is way more like how most black people are.
- Blacks are not all that different deep down. If they were, then how in the world could they make music that the whole world likes? Or why would Christianity appeal to them so much? They have a universal humanness that most of the world knows and sees – like in Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King. Blacks are different, yes, they are not just brown-skinned white people, but they are still just people all the same.
- There is absolutely nothing wrong with being black. Black people are not some kind of mistake that God made on the way to making white people. There is not some secret crack inside them. They are perfectly fine the way they are – certainly no worse than white people.
- Whites look down on people who are different. They act like something is wrong with them. Not all white people act that way, but enough of them do – while the others just sit by like they agree.