John, I wonder, so as not to hurt feelings, if you left out the word “black” or “racism”, would this idea become John Stewartian and spread like seeds broadcast for individual reform? We must always consider our audience if we want to be heard, as you well know.
All changes must start with the individual. The issues of our insensitive, unaware, defensive “white” society will become more personal when understood in the context of overcoming in general? Working at teaching, at understanding, at personal responsibility as the way out? All colors, all cultures, all people understand overcoming adversity. Racist has become an ugly word that is filled with complaint and short on resolution. A person in power is someone you must become. The belief must exist that you can and you will. I believe you will.
You see, I think you speak of the generally disenfranchised here, not just black. To be disenfranchised you must first not know how to work within the system. This has everything to do with culture. And I hate to go back to the culture of an entire people enslaved, but wasn’t this culture of “different” a root cause? This entire population learned only how to survive for many, many years. Surviving is not living, is not achieving, is not enough. Those white slave owners are dead and gone, but their legacy of “you can’t have this” and “you can’t have that” because the Man will beat you down still exists in both blacks and whites. It’s in our psyche, passed down like root rot that never quite goes away, no matter how much people say it isn’t there. And isn’t it time for individuals like yourself to ignore the bullshit of this good ol’ white boy society and continue to find the ways out?
At the end of your piece, I hope this is your meaning. The normed culture in the US is historically white, but couldn’t it be the culture of the people in power anywhere pushing down any population whose individuals as a whole see themselves as different? It is the oppressed who must find a way to dethrone the oppressor. And not unlike the relationship we have with our Savior it is personal, it is raw, and it is real. There are, as you say, ad infinitum nuances of racism and when all of us together, let me repeat that, all of us together find a way to do what’s right… that is the way. And anger, my friend, is the beginning and the motivation that keeps the healing moving forward.