This post is actually an open thread -- a request for your input on some recent events and such that white Americans should at least be thinking about. Feel free to offer your input on whatever else related to this blog's topics that you've been thinking about.
My first proffered possibility for commentary -- what do you think about the American Senate's muted, "nonbinding" apology this week for slavery? Is it really going to make any difference? Is its explicit dismissal of reparations an appropriate nail in the coffin of that idea?
Personally, and as I've said before, I don't think so -- I think white Americans should pull that coffin back up and apply some electroconvulsive therapy. After they learn, that is, what "40 acres and a mule" and "generational transference of wealth" mean, and after they read such things as Randall Robinson's The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks, and such explanations of seemingly invisible collective white wealth as George Lipsitz's The Possessive Investment in Whiteness, or Karen Brodkin's explanation of "the largest [white] affirmative action program in U.S. history," the GI Bill, in her book How Did Jews Become White Folks.
What I think white America needs to do instead of merely apologizing is acknowledge, understand, and work to counteract the ongoing effects of slavery. And of the de facto slavery and apartheid that took place after "real slavery" officially ended. (I do remain a
We have some Australian readers/commenters here -- can you tell us if white Australia's official apology to aboriginal people last year has made any tangible, substantial difference?
One other question/topic -- are you going mark or celebrate Juneteenth somehow? And if you're a white person, have you even heard of such a thing?
And just one more -- there's so much to talk about -- do you too get a lot of forwarded emails from friends and family members about what a great job Sheriff Joe Arpaio is doing? How he keeps coming up with creative and "finally, effective!" ways of cracking down on prisoners?
I get a lot of those, always from white folks who just love good ol' Sheriff Joe -- is forwarding praise for his draconian ways another example of stuff white people do?
I usually respond to those who forward me such unwittingly racist foolishness with long explanations of why Sheriff Joe's methods are barbaric, counterproductive and racist (only to get another "Go Sheriff Joe!" message from some of these folks a month or two later).
And now, thanks to Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican, here's something else I'll be forwarding in response: