Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Excellent! A must read for anyone who’s serious about understanding America’s original sin. The author pulls no punches regardless of which side of the color line you are on. He exposes the problem of racism and its roots.
History is clear. Sacrifice, uplift, persuasion, and education have not eradicated, are not eradicating, and will not eradicate racist ideas, let alone racist policies. Power will never self-sacrifice away from its self-interest. Power cannot be persuaded away from its self-interest. Power cannot be educated away from its self-interest. Those who have the power to abolish racial discrimination have not done so thus far, and they will never be persuaded or educated to do so as long as racism benefits them in some way.Ibram X. Kendi
When you grow up white in middle America you have a much different perspective from a guy or gal who grew up black or brown in the ghetto. Rev. Wright is correct in saying America is a racist country. There is no doubt about it. America is also an ethnically diverse country in which most if not all ethnic groups have been discriminated against. I’ve seen racism in myself and its not pretty, but it’s there. Until we see that we are all racists there can be no hope of change. Until we can see that we are all flawed and embrace those flaws we have no hope of redemption. Until we can move away from us vs. them we will repeat this tragic cycle again and again.
As easy as it is for those of us who are white to look back and say, “That’s a terrible statement,” I grew up in a very segregated South, and I think that you have to cut some slack. And I’m going to be probably the only conservative in America who’s going to say something like this, but I’m just telling you: We’ve got to cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told, “You have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you can’t sit out there with everyone else. There’s a separate waiting room in the doctor’s office. Here’s where you sit on the bus.” And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had … more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.
– Mike Huckabee, offering his perspective on the preaching of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. (Source: MSNBC)