Monday, July 13, 2015

John McWhorter ― Black People Should Stop Expecting White America to ‘Wake Up’ to Racism

The linguist, and Professor at Columbia University, argues that "African-Americans can and will play the same game everyone else is, even if the rules are stacked against them."

via The Daily Beast:

He writes: 'Today’s impasse is the result of mission creep. The story of the Civil Rights movement from 1965 to 2015 started as a quest to allow black people the same opportunities others enjoy but has shrunken into a project to show that black people can’t excel unless racism basically ceases to exist at all. This is understandable. The concrete victories tearing down Jim Crow have already happened. Smoking out the racism that remains lends a sense of purpose. And let’s face it: There’s less of a sense of electricity, urgency, importance in teaching people how to get past racism.

But the result is that we insist “What we really need to be talking about” is, say, psychological tests showing that whites have racist biases they aren’t aware of such as tending to associate black people with negative words, or white people owning up to their “Privilege,” or a television chef having said the N-word in a heated moment decades ago (or posing for a picture where her son is dressed as Desi Arnaz wearing brown makeup).

So, drama stands in for action. Follow-through is a minor concern. Too many people are reluctant to even admit signs of progress, out of a sense that their very role is to be the Cassandra rather than the problem-solver.'