Since the spate of murders by police of unarmed Black men, we are finally engaging in one of the most emotionally charged dialogues in this country, one we’ve long dreaded and therefore shirked: Americans are talking about race, and doing so as honestly as we can. But we can no longer avoid it after witnessing over and over the blatant inequality of policing and the failure to prosecute the officers who murdered Mike Brown and Eric Garner, which has made it painfully obvious that our nation has deliberately failed to uphold its laws to protect all citizens equally.
But even after all these years, ours remains a segregated society. Seventy-five percent of White people don’t have non-White friends, and even on social media, racial segregation is alive and well. But Facebook does provide a refuge for candid, often brutal conversations about racial issues.
And what we’re seeing from this digital discourse is that many White people have little sense of the daily lives of Black Americans: the constant terrorizing and harassment, the fact that police do anything but serve and protect, and Black people’s ongoing fear for their lives. And so the level of insensitivity and cluelessness, defensiveness and outright racist comments may not be so surprising, especially at the outset, and not everyone is going to be open to being enlightened.
Read more at For Harriet.