Too often, people of color find themselves trapped between a Left that exaggerates racism and a Right that pretends it doesn’t exist.
Under these circumstances it is difficult to blame them for choosing the former. Black Americans in particular feel gaslighted by conservatives. They experience racism, they explain it to us, but instead of addressing it we tell them it is marginal, rare, and unimportant if we acknowledge its existence at all.
The result of this conservative ambivalence to racism is that we are ceding an enormous amount of ground in what should be an important and nuanced conversation. It is very much our fault that the only sides of the issue are “white privilege explains everything” and ”white privilege doesn’t exist.” The truth lies in between, in the murky waters of interpersonal relationships where baseless racism still lurks. Casting ourselves as the side that denies racism leaves the Left the entire playing field upon which to castigate the country for its iniquity. Our only response? A tin-eared refusal to accept that we have a problem.
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