We all have fantasies of what America will look like when we are all equal under the law and pulling together to restore American prosperity and world respect. My fantasy begins with a Democratic sweep in the November elections resulting in Democrats winning the White House and obtaining super majorities in both houses of congress, and also gaining control of state governments across the country. I see that as an ideal outcome for two reasons. Number one, such results couldn’t happen unless the overwhelming majority of the white electorate voted for that outcome and secondly, because such an outcome would leave no doubt America is ready to set aside and leave behind its racist traditions in favor of a new paradigm of what it means to be an American. George Will, considered to be the dean and most respected proponent of traditional Republican conservatism said, [paraphrasing] “It is vitally important that we not reward those who enabled Trump’s demagoguery by reelecting them if we are serious about restoring public trust in government, so that in the future, we will never again see the tactics employed by the Trump Administration in our elected officials.”
There can be no doubt that there is a strong desire on the part of most white Americans to end racial discrimination in the United States. Unlike past reconciliations in the wake of some atrocity committed by the police against a black person, they understand that achievement of racial equality begins with them accepting personal responsibility for the negative impact of systemic racism on black people in years past. In other words, we are beginning to do what I’ve been advocating for in these posts for almost two years. We are actually beginning to have a serious conversation about race.
As we embark on these conversations, we must be prepared to expose ourselves to some awkward and uncomfortable exchanges. We must be patient and considerate to one another when this occurs. Already, I have concerns that many well meaning white people have been denigrated and criticized because they didn’t “properly” express their support for the concept of black lives matter. We all must accept the fact the overcoming 400 years of denial is going to be awkward and uncomfortable. We must be kind and patient with each other as we embark on this new course. If anti-racism and personal responsibility is the fuel to drive the engine of change we all seek, patience and mutual kindness is the oil that will enable the engine to fulfill its purpose.
We must accept that reconciliation of past offenses will not look exactly as we imagine it. I told you my vision. Your vision may not look exactly like mine. The important thing is that we stay focused on what we all agree we want; equal protection under the law and a society where we all have equal opportunity to contribute to its markets and to enjoy the benefits of our contribution. As we move forward, there will be times when it will look like we are getting closer to that goal, and times when it will look like we are moving farther away from it. Through all of that, we must remain committed to one another and not be overly discouraged in the down times.
It should be clear to everyone in America at this point that everyone who is still supporting Trump is doing so out of the belief that America is a white country that exists for that benefit of white people only. That we have removed all cover of any other legitimate reason to support him is in itself a major milestone. But we must not be mislead by the polls. There are still many who covertly support the white supremist version of America. We must move our protests to state capitals and fight for the enfranchisement of minority voters. That is the most important and scariest part of the roller coaster ride in the immediate future.