My first thought is that if you needed to ask that question, you’re obviously not as “good” as you think you are.
One of the most common responses to this essay is from white people (but surprisingly, not cishet…
Son of Baldwin
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I think — well, I hope — it was the context.

If I’m drowning, all you see of me is the whiteness of my skin. The scenarios you posited offer no opportunity to discern character.

This is not to say it is unfair. It is certainly what white people, collectively, have done throughout our history to black people.

Every one of us, though, hopes to be viewed as an individual, not as one cog in a large wheel. That’s just human nature, so it immediately comes to the fore when others speak of us as many, not one. And, as above, it is the sense of individuality white people have denied all along to their non-white fellows.

History shows us humanity is not moderate. We never reach equilibrium without wild swings of the pendulum. Most often, those who sustain the damage are innocent, because evil looks first to its own self-interest and stands out of the way.

No one wants to be collateral damage, even if it serves a broader justice.

Sadly, we position ourselves for exactly that outcome by our failure to self-moderate. Every single time.

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