An intellectual of color says he will teach his children not to have white friends.
In Trump’s America, an angry tissue of lies arguing that minorities should not have white friends, passes as progressive reasoning. Ekow N. Yankah asks, “Can My Children Be Friends with White People?” Clearly, his answer is No, and his column portrays itself as a rationale for his decision to raise his children to be suspicious and hostile towards whiteness.
As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible. When they ask, I will teach my sons that their beautiful hue is a fault line. Spare me platitudes of how we are all the same on the inside. I first have to keep my boys safe, and so I will teach them before the world shows them this particular brand of rending, violent, often fatal betrayal.
Statistically, nothing would be safer for his boys than to raise them in a predominately white community and school. The opposite is true for white children in a predominately black school. Yankah is projecting rather than being truthful about race in the United States.
Likewise, despite centuries of exclusion and robust evidence of continuing racism, minority underemployment is often couched in the language of bad choices and personal responsibility. When systemic joblessness strikes swaths of white America, we get an entire presidential campaign centered on globalization’s impact on the white working class.
Time out of mind conservatives and libertarians (of all races) pointed out that black people were suffering economically the most under Barack Obama. But we weren’t heeded. After all, blacks can’t trust us because we didn’t support horrible politicians of color who make life worse for blacks.
There is zero “evidence of continuing racism.” Black youth employment has in the past been as high or higher than white youth, as Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams have pointed out (even though then racism was a factor). Conservatives have blamed institutional factors, not black character.
Even the nerve of some rich or visible African-Americans to protest that America, in its laws and in its police, has rarely been just to all has been met with the howls of a president who cannot tolerate that the lucky and the uppity do not stay in their place.
That’s his description of NFL millionaires blaming the working-class customers for abusing their “white privilege.”
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