I, Racist
John Metta

As I read this article I fit the bill. I became defensive. I formulated arguments in my mind to counteract statements made in the piece. Then I read this:

“The reality of America is that White people are fundamentally good, and so when a white person commits a crime, it is a sign that they, as an individual, are bad. Their actions as a person are not indicative of any broader social construct. Even the fact that America has a growing number of violent hate groups, populated mostly by white men, and that nearly *all* serial killers are white men can not shadow the fundamental truth of white male goodness. In fact, we like White serial killers so much, we make mini-series about them.”

I felt for a moment that a door opened. It made me feel very uncomfortable. I saw my own racism. When a black teen commits a crime I see him as a type, a part of a whole. A white teen? I consider the cause — perhaps he was abused as a child; his mother might have consumed alcohol during the pregnancy; he may have been bullied.

I look at the white teen as an individual; not so the black teen. As a white man I consider myself an individual. For the love of God, we worship rugged individualism in this society. But I don’t extend that to whole segments of society. This from a man raised in a liberal, integrated community. This from a man who has volunteered for years in a community shelter housing minorities. This from a man who believes in Jesus.

I hope the door opens wider. But I do, in some way, wish that with trepidation. I’m already uncomfortable. Let’s just get it done.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.