This country was founded on white people deciding that getting along with each other was more important than addressing the suffering of non-white people.
We don’t get to say, “This is not America.” It absolutely is.
But we are also a country founded on the premise that we can fix shit later. That’s the whole point of being able to amend the Constitution, of being able to pass new laws and repeal old ones, of having judges look over shit to see if it’s right.
Maybe I’m corny, but I believe we can become a more perfect union.
But we sure as fuck cannot get there by doing the same old “oh, let’s just be nice to the jerks so we don’t alienate them” bullshit we’ve been doing since 1776. We white Americans have to stop prioritizing getting along with white people we disagree with over ending the suffering of non-white people.
In a recent conversation with a young black man from the Caribbean, he offhandedly remarked that white people want nothing more than to really not have to interact in a meaningful way with others and while they/we really want to control others’ behaviors, we cannot speak to them about it directly. He thought this was just obvious, but I felt like he’d given me an essential key to understanding my culture.
Molly Ivins once said that the history of our nation can be read as the history of the fight to spread to all its people the freedoms and rights promised in the Constitution. She’s not wrong.