Yes, it does happen, folks – there are quite a few white folks out there in the mainstream media who have their heads on right and can talk good on racism. Here’s a great example – Alfred Lubrano, columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. In two recent columns, he takes on the topic of racism. In the first, he reflects on the insidious nature of racism today:
Meantime, just because you don’t say the n-word doesn’t mean you’ve fixed the problem. Bias lives in all of us. And we can’t let our good intentions deceive us into thinking we’re handling race well.
He does think that there can be “truly unprejudiced people” who get that way through a life of “positive interracial experiences.” I don’t share that belief; call me a cynic, but to paraphrase the Avenue Q song of which I have never actually heard more than the first line, everyone’s a little bit prejudiced. But still, good stuff.
He got lots of angry letters after that column, many of which demanded to know why he didn’t also call out “black racism.” In a second column entitled “Listen up, white folks: your racism cuts deeper,” he responds:
America is a white-majority country. When one group has substantially more power than all others, its biases, prejudices, and mouth filth matter more.
And if whites possess the keys to the White House, the executive suite, the law firm, the construction company – not to mention the gun lockers in the police stations – then what they think about black people has greater weight and consequence than what black people think about them…
… lots more black people than whites have endured systemic, organized violence in this country. And my ancestors walked off the boats that brought them here unchained.
Refreshing, and a good addition to my little collection of “Racism 101″ writings. Speaking of which, I’ve been planning to create a section on my site that collects such materials on racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other such things; if anyone has good suggestions of things to include, please share!
Many thanks to kristiangrrl over on the debunkingwhite Livejournal community for the heads up to the articles.