I hear what you’re saying about re-balancing scales and fueling division. I’m not saying that isn’t happening, but, that’s a distraction, not the main thing happening.
Most people have an inappropriately strong reaction against being emotionally uncomfortable. That’s what makes every discussion of race I’ve every been in with white people turn quickly to the wrongs committed against whites, no matter what the initial topic was.
The recent years of race-consciousness have felt worse for people who in years previous were unaware of how bad it still was and is. For people who already knew, it’s been painful but also a relief that mainstream America is finally hearing about it, even if not with perfect acceptance or clarity.
I haven’t felt demonized in these recent years. So why have you?
I suggest it’s not so much that your subconscious racism is deeper than mine, nor that you’re seeing things less clearly, but because your sight is focused on a part of the overall dynamic that isn’t at its core.
I saw racism die down slowly over the last few decades. It got better overall, but it got WAY better on the surface, especially the parts of the dynamic that were easiest for white people to see. Then Obama started running for President (the first time) and that was fairly good proof that we really had progressed. I mean that, and not ironically, but at the same time, it was fairly good proof that things under the surface were worse than things seemed, because immediately the racism flared up with a vengeance. It didn’t flare up because of a bunch of anti-white racist blacks. It flared up among whites just because of his existence. The feeling of him maybe being our leader. Sure, now there’s backlash and backlash to the backlash, but those are afterthoughts. The main dynamics there were blacks being more surprised than whites that there was a black President and plenty of low-grade white racism right under the surface.
The hardcore white racists crept out of the woodwork too though, and felt relevant again. Their steadily-declining group memberships started to rise again. When Obama got elected, the bubble burst for the low-grade white racists. Where I worked at the time was overwhelmingly conservative, white, male, rather educated, and somewhat above average intelligence. But they reacted pretty much the same as everywhere if the memes are any indication, devolving into sad-sack hangdog the-America-we-knew-is-over alternating hourly with a white-hot ball of directionless rage shooting itself in the foot. It was horrifying and funny and vindicating and sad all at the same time, but mostly what I felt was sorry for them. They were so confused. They couldn’t understand why they were feeling like that. They knew they hated Obama because they thought he would be a terrible President, but they also knew there had been terrible Presidents before and we survived. They knew there was more to it, but they were unprepared to accept the truth that their feelings were very much to do with race, and with losing something they didn’t even know they had, much less appreciate.
What’s happening now is like the aftershocks of an earthquake. Slavery was the earthquake and things keep seeming better then worse with each aftershock, but the truth is things really ARE getting better, just not as better as it seemed between any two aftershocks, and not as worse as things seem during any aftershock. While it’s somewhat cyclical, it’s not a never-ending cycle. We’re not suck re-balancing because of racial consciousness, and it’s not getting worse on the long scale. It’s a predictable phase that had to come, and will be painful while it’s here, and predictably it will end, UNLESS we create the need for another round of it later by trying to suppress it now because we’re focusing on the wrong parts of the dynamic, like anti-white racism. White people have a strong tendency overall to err on the side of attempting to deny, suppress, and contain. That’s predictable too. It’s because the status quo benefits us. But the biggest gains in life are when people err on the opposite side of their accustomed failure mode.
While we’re in it, I probably can’t convince you it’s a matter of opening up a wound to let it heal more fully, not a matter of fueling rage and getting stuck, but I predict, in another couple of decades, you’ll look back and see it that way.
Well, unless economic, technological, and/or climate pressures exacerbate every problem. There’s always that.