Back in 2014, I did a series of columns called “When Whites Just Don’t Get It” to draw attention to inequities, and I’m revisiting it because public attention to racial disparities seems to be flagging even as the issues are as grave as ever.
But let me first address some reproaches I’ve received from indignant whites, including the very common: You would never write a column about blacks not getting it, and it’s racist to pick on whites. It’s true that I would be wary as a white person of lecturing to blacks about race, but plenty of black leaders (including President Obama) have bluntly spoken about shortcomings in the black community.
Toni Morrison in her novels writes searingly about a black world pummeled by discrimination but also by violence, drunkenness and broken families. In a CNN poll, 86 percent of blacks said family breakdown was a reason for difficulties of African-Americans today, and 77 percent cited “lack of motivation and unwillingness to work hard.
Frankly, the conversation within the black community seems to me to be more mature and honest than the one among whites, and considering how much of the white conversation about race invokes “personal responsibility,” maybe it’s time for whites to show more.
FUCK YOU. You get a paycheck written in NYC, and you have never, EVAH, condemned Al Sharpton. That jack actually has blood on his hands. When I hear you tell the “black community” to start self-policing the bullshit they consider to be “that’s just how the day plays” and I don’t hear about shootings in Park Hill, the Harbor Houses, and the train-wreck we call Jersey Street I–maybe–will give a fuck about what you think from your suburban fortress.