To White America and whom it may concern:
I understand your lack of understanding. Understanding, after all, can be quite inconvenient. But I ask you, if you have an ounce of empathy within you, just glance at our last 400, 100, 50, 30 years and tell me you wouldn’t feel the slightest flicker of resentment were the roles reversed. If you tell me you wouldn’t, then I’d tell you you’re delusional.
And that is an aspect of white privilege or, in a more generalized term, entitlement.
This isn’t a justification for violence. It may, however, be an excellent explanation. In my mind, the pervasive, almost ubiquitous, denial of an objective reality can lead one to the road of a downward spiral away from the rational. Trust me when I say I know this — for I have, myself, ventured down this road. To me, the journey to this road is not an indication of weakness in any way, but an indication of strength. Strength in one’s convictions and their battle with the illogical, which unfortunately is our society’s current state of affairs. The fact that we all more or less know the history and carry on with a simple, “Well I didn’t do it.” internal mentality and external attitude is simply gross apathy, even antipathy. Instead of us (now that’s all of us, on both sides of the racial divide) going through life demonizing that which isn’t convenient or comfortable to think about, let’s pursue the personal attainment of a level of Understanding and Compassion. This includes the stereotyping of either side by either side. It is this stereotyping that leads to a narrowing and intensifying resentment. Ideally we need to evaluate any individual as such, individually. For their outward characteristics do not tell us what is in their heart… it doesn’t tell us the true character of the character.
With a movement toward these we can hope to see that ounce of empathy on the horizon… and a desire to bridge the divide.
We are born into a society of emotional momentum. Fueled by selective empathy. It is the human condition. The momentum is gaining and it is blind and and it is deaf. It, however, is not mute. If we truly want even a glimmer of hope to slow it down we must not only look outward extrospectively, but inward as well.
Honest moral introspection; it isn’t for the weak. (And according to the academic text I’ve been reading, it isn’t in our DNA).