Read this. I can't even begin to compete, so I won't try.

I'll only say this. I like to think I understand how much of an advantage I have simply because I was born white and male, but even though I try, sometimes I'm shocked back into reality by posts like the one I linked to. One of my favorite bits Stephen Colbert does is the whole "I don't see race" joke, but I worry that even the most well-meaning in his audience don't really get what he's saying. On the surface, he's playing the conservative who claims to colorblind so that he can oppress minorities with a clean conscience. But there's a deeper, more sinister edge to that joke--he's also lampooning the well-meaning liberals who mouth the same concepts without stopping to consider that a colorblind society is not only impossible, it's undesirable.

The metaphor LowerManhattanite uses in his post is the best one I've heard to date. Racism isn't an illness or a cancer--it's a parasite that leeches our society of its ability to grow. It doesn't quite kill us--it just makes us miserable and sickly and never gets better. I'll be damned if I know a way to purge the country of it, other than to bring as much attention to acts of racism as possible, and shame more of the country into standing against it. I'm glad the story of the Jena 6 is getting more widespread coverage, for instance, and the work Orcinus does is indispensable, along with the Southern Poverty Law Center, but there's still a lot of people out there who want to believe racism is a thing of the past. We can't let them be comfortable in that delusion.

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