GETTING AT RACISM (FOR REAL)

I think my issue is that few can actually describe what policies and benchmarks you’d need to end racism. Few can agree on what racism is. If you’re a teen and walk into a store with your pants lowered, and the clerk shows you a lot of scrutiny, is that racism? Or is it common sense? Now, yes, of course. There’s plenty of racism, much of it structural. If we have some benchmarks like no redlining, better health, better schooling, we could address those ideas with something like reparations — grants to assist with mortgages, free health services, grants to poverty schools. The minority community would also have to throw their shoulders to the wheel. Geoffrey Canada’s community education project in New York also needs parents to be there 100 percent. This isn’t just a matter of microagressions, or whites changing their attitudes and speech — those are just sentiments — and they don’t matter.

Also, be very careful about things like defunding the police. Responsible members of minority communities don’t want that. They’re the ones who get victimized if the police disappear.

Retired Sociology professor. Critic. Writer. Gun hobbyist.