Hi Laurence, I certainly see your point, I don’t think neither should get free passes either and that denouncing them and making our every day worlds a better place is important.
However, it’s more a matter of discourse and perspective. Racism is a really bad thing, but everyone has it — maybe not as directly as the killers of George Floyd or Amy Cooper, but indirectly.
For example, where do you choose to send your kids to school? If it’s a high-performing school in a “good neighborhood”, what are the demographics of the school? Where is the place you choose to raise your family? Most people would want their kids to grow up in a good, safe neighborhood.
I believe these actions aren’t directly racist, but perpetuate de facto segregation in many more ways than we can ever imagine. And they’re every day human behaviors and desires. Even my kids in my inner city school see “success” as making it out of the hood and making it out of Baltimore, and hopefully going to a safe and wealthy suburb.
I understand that that’s human nature — but it also goes to show that human nature perpetuates racism just by basic needs for safety and survival. I don’t know if I can transcend those needs when I have kids and want them to go to good schools. I don’t know how that can be fixed, but it’s not easy and people tend really not to like it. Look up the backlash that came when a federal judge tried to build low income houses in predominantly white Yonkers in the 90s. These people in opposition were not bad people and just devoted to preventing change and maintaining property values, but their opposition was vociferous. Likewise, school segregation in NYC is equally opposed by self-proclaimed liberals. Bussing schools is as well.
It’s a long battle and one that requires hard decisions that liberals, centrists, and conservatives won’t like. I personally see it as never politically expedient to integrate America, in race and class, as the dream of the Civil Rights movement. It’s happening too slowly and that’s why we have such a divided America. It probably will have to be forced by the courts and have decisions like Milliken vs. Bradley overturned.
Would love to engage more about it.