“I have black friends!” I’ve heard cried countless times. It’s made me want to ask:
But have you talked to those friends about race? Have you talked to them about racism, and the times they’ve been singled out–by silence, by microaggression, by rudeness only identifiable as racism if you’d experienced the totality of it?
Or have you assumed your friends have never experienced racism … because they would’ve offered up their experiences to you conversationally if they had?
White people are remarkably efficient at self-segregation. We have the luxury of choosing this, and then still pretending we have nevertheless heard and understood the experiences of those outwardly unlike us.
As I think about the future well being of my sons in this country, in this world, I think they will be safest in a future where White people don’t pretend to know but ask:
What have you experienced?