Kudos for sparking such rawkus debate. It’s hard to speak in measured tones in light of the very real racist statistics our society spits out. Why can’t so many white people say Black Lives Matter(.) end of statement? That’s it. That’s a solid question.
But identity politics bit back, and nobody wants to admit to racism. Racist has become an insult “the R word” instead of a useful label of fact. It aught to be more like saying, “Hey your fly’s down.” We all have tribal natures, and I don’t think our goal aught to be simple dominance over people who disagree. But empathy is a lot to ask.
The only thing that will change people’s minds is factual evidence. While firmly addressing the negatives — unemployment, suspensions, imprisonment — without politicizing the specific policies, we might focus on the positives. What black culture does better. Maybe start with the fact that so many great blues, jazz and rock’n roll songs and instruments were invented by black composers and recorded by white rock’n rollers (not just by Elvis, but by Led Zeppelin, The Beach Boys, the list is very long). White people are very ignorant of black history. We need more than a month of worshiping MLK and bickering about Malcom X. So many great stories are not being told.
But why should black voices be the only ones who explore and research black history? Couldn’t white writers help to set the record straight, while black voices branch out into their other mainstream interests, like neuroscience, programming and computer algorithms?
Part of the problem is that people want to help, or want to change, and we don’t know how.