He was a young man of Italian descent, a student in my class at Boston College. The class is gathered around the topic: The History and Development of Racism, and features a great deal of discussion between students as we look together at the broad sweep of racism in our history. Sal had been a vigorous discussant in that group, and it is clear from his level of participation that a lot was churning in his head and heart. So I was not surprised when he requested a chance to talk about his most recent paper. Continue reading “A Question For Sal … “American First?””
Having come to the reluctant acceptance of the permanence of racism and the simultaneous liberation that acceptance has brought to my involvement in the struggle against racism,  I have been asked often to indicate the reasons which lead me to the assumption of “permanence.” Sometimes the questioner seems rooted in stubborn resistance, sometimes in puzzled inquiry, sometimes in defiant incredulity. The question begs both my mind and my heart for an answer. Continue reading “Why There Is No End To Racism In The U.S.A.”
There have been numerous times in recent years when I have become aware of the different ways in which people think about what it means to be “anti-racist.” The ways in which “anti-racism” is described necessarily stem from one’s view of racism, and since my view is one which is clearly not adopted by many people, I have often found myself in disagreement with what many call “anti-racism.” Continue reading “Some Characteristics of Anti-Racism”
Derrick Bell has once again moved my thoughts and my heart in a new direction which is both frightening and exciting. To appreciate the impact his latest book has had on me, it is important to review an experience centered in a question I have been asked numerous times.
The question I have heard so often is, “When do you think we will overcome racism in this country?” Continue reading “On The Permanence of Racism”
Over the years I have often heard talk about how racism has impacted white people. Usually that discussion comes in the context of an assumption that, if whites can see that racism has negative effects on them as a group, that realization will motivate action to eliminate racism.
I do not share that assumption; racism is a far more powerful and recalcitrant force than this assumption acknowledges, clinging stubbornly wherever it is lodged. Continue reading “Racism: Negative Effects on Whites”