Utter Complicity

Following is from the book I’m reading, Tears We Cannot Stop, A Sermon to White America, by Michael Eric Dyson.

Early in his career King believed in the essential goodness of white America. He trusted most whites to put away their bigotry in the face of black suffering. In the last three years of his life he grew far more skeptical of the ability or willingness of white folk to change. He concluded, sadly, that most whites are unconscious racists.

“Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race,” King said. “Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shores, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society.” We are “perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population.”

I am beyond rage, Oh Lord, at the utter complicity of even good white folk who claim that they care, and yet their voices don’t ring out loudly and consistently against an injustice so grave that it sends us to our graves with frightening frequency. They wring their hands in frustration to prove that they empathize with our plight–that is, those who care enough to do so–and then throw them up in surrender.

What we mostly hear is the deafening silence. What we mostly see is crushing indifference. Lord, what are we to do in a nation of people who claim to love you and hold fast to your word and way and yet they let their brothers and sisters murder us like we are animals?

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