The Washington Post released poll numbers yesterday on the verdict, but the issue is really deeper:
In the Post-ABC News poll, 86 percent of African Americans say blacks and other minorities do not get equal treatment under the law. The number of whites saying so is less than half as large, at 41 percent. A majority of whites, 54 percent, say there is equal treatment for minority groups.
There’s simply too much at stake in maintaining the status quo, in staying in this comfortable place where we don’t talk about racism and prejudice and their effects, where we continue to live the lie that everything is OK. We’ve come a long way since the various civil rights acts, but the distance we have yet to travel is equally as far and much more difficult.
I spent a lot of years involved in race relations, even co-founding a local group to face the issue. I used to keep a copy of Peggy McIntosh’s article (pdf) on the coffee table in my office, as a conversation starter. But I wearied of fighting the same battle over and over – at least the battle publicly. It made me angry and sad, two emotions that can overwhelm. I’ve no doubt that’s what prompted the president’s response.
Roger Simon nailed it this morning.
Race? That box has been checked. Race is so … last week.
And now we can move on as a nation to resume our national silence.
Yep. As much as things change, they remain the same.