The Key to Ending Racism Lies Squarely in the Laps of White People
This piece began as a REPLY to a reply by Mary Watson-Bruce to the article by Nicki Cavender, “My Daughter is in White Denial.” It became too extensive and complicated to remain as such. Watson-Bruce was new to Medium and had not written her own articles yet, and since then has deleted her post and her page..
The problem with Watson-Bruce’s analysis and recommendations is that, although of course the attitudes that come with racism are culturally constructed, the experiences of the acts of racists are VERY REAL to those who live through them DAILY. Moreover, racism is deeply embedded in the history and continuance of US political, social, cultural, and economic institutions.
I am pretty sure the author has had such experiences herself, but perhaps has minimized them, or they have been minimized and explained away either by white relatives or by white friends with whom you she is close. I know that is a supposition on my part, and it may not be true. I’m just acknowledging my suspicion.
I suspect Watson-Bruce understands that racists don’t give a flying F if someone has had some sort of white parentage in their family history. Indeed, in the unwritten book of white supremacist rules, having a SINGLE DROP of “black blood” makes one black and therefore worthy of whatever nasty racist acts the racists deem appropriate to throw at one.
Again, as I’m sure the author knows, the experience of being treated by racists as second class citizens remains regardless of whatever intellectual analysis one may choose to throw at the problem.
But the fact is, when it suits them, racists will use the mixed race category to claim that the person is not, in fact, black, and so any racism described by black people and people of color does not apply to them.
Nonetheless — also when it suits them — white supremacists will also assert that identifying as black even when you have white parentage in your background is itself racist.
However, as my own black niece and nephew (born of my white sister and her black ex-husband from Southside Chicago (25 years of…