We live in a system that keeps Americans divided by race, those who have lived traumatized by it and those who have benefited from it. Difficult discussions about race and oppression can be solutions, crucial to the liberation of everyone. We need the fortitude to sustain those conversations and the sensitivity to deepen them.
When the media publish articles that explicitly talk about race and racism — calling out or calling in White people — sometimes people get upset. “They’re divisive,” some have said. “YES! used to be positive,” others have said.
Why do we do it? Because race matters.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her 2014 dissent on the Affirmative Action ruling:
“Race matters. Race matters in part because of the long history of racial minorities’ being denied access to the political process. Race also matters because of persistent racial inequality in society — inequality that cannot be ignored and that has produced stark socioeconomic disparities. And race matters for reasons that really are only skin deep, that cannot be discussed any other way, and that cannot be wished away. Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching where he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, ‘No, where are you really from?’ …read more