What is it that we don't talk about? I hear this all the time....but I think we've talked about everything.
no mention of the reciprocal efforts required of folks on both sides of social divides towards mutual understanding and respect.
It just smacks of a bad attitude on his part, in my opinion. I'd be thrilled if someone could address what hasn't been said. I wish HE had.
I suppose there are a few places where this situation might exist. This was too common in the 50's and 60's in some areas where white neighbors would get together and collaborate to purchase a house for sale in their neighborhood to prevent black people from moving in. And there were the cases of the seller being so offended at such tactics that they accepted the offer of the black family even if the white coalition offered more money.
Admittedly many of these cases were instigated by civil rights activists and the minority buyers were part of that. You can't imagine otherwise that there would be a lot of people who would choose to establish their primary residence in such a hostile environment.
By the 70's, however, most of this kind of stuff had died out in most places. Affirmative Action and the Civil Rights Act had done most of the necessary work. White folks from previously segregated societies had become used to seeing, working with, eating in restaurants with, sitting in the movies with, going to school with, sharing drinking fountains with, and living in neighborhoods with black folks. When the militant groups, both black and white and every hue in between who offended just about everybody, stayed out of it, most people accepted the changing culture. It began to feel normal and unremarkable and most people no longer thought much about it.
We are a 'nation of cowards' not because we don't talk about existing racism. We do. We talk about it. We write about it ad nauseum. We expound on it. We advertise and telegraph it at every opportunity. It's the politically correct thing to do.
But in my opinion, what most people are cowardly about is the willingness to admit that the legal work has been done to achieve equality of opportunity and now its time to stop treating people of different colors differently. Racism exists not because we aren't willing to talk about it, but because we talk about it so much.
So long as we continue to focus on it, claim victimization by it, legislate with it in mind, gerimander voting districts to accommodate it, make it an issue in all our demographics, and use it for personal gain, racism will not go away. Until black mothers stop telling their kids not to trust a white teacher and until white people stop wearing their black neighbors, friends, coworkers as badges of honor, we will continue to see each other as separate and distinctly alien species.
The only cure for racism is to see a person's skin color as of having no more significance than their eye or hair color. And that will only happen when we stop focusing on skin color as somehow distinguishing one person from another person in any material way whatever our motive might be for doing that.
So the guy is right. We are a nation of cowards when it comes to race, but not for the reasons I think he intended.