Reconstruction did not end on a given day in 1877 as the history books, and Civil War “enthusiasts” have stated.
It’s important to recognize that true equity and dignity are still privileges that most black and brown people have yet to be able to cherish, despite it being their birthright.
Having elected a Black American as our president, while continuing to work toward successfully affecting public policy did not “address” or “resolve” the issue, as some claim.
Each of our experiences and biases; our engrained perspectives, and experiences, as well as our beliefs — many passed along to us at a young age by our family — continue to be the stronger force.
Properly acknowledging and dismantling racism will require people to acknowledge all of the above while respectfully pointing out one another’s blind spots. Most importantly, we’ll need to be receptive to having our own areas for improvement pointed out.
White Supremacy, plain old racism, and entry-level bigotry are viruses that will require candor and confrontation, sometimes done politely and kindly, and sometimes not. Centuries of the well-intentioned, moderate, “middle-of-the-road,” and even “liberal” folk have been afraid to or have otherwise failed to speak up publicly and prominently to say “Enough of this.”
Those who are strongly against racism, bigotry, and White Nationalism spend far too much of their time tweeting to the choir instead of confronting and engaging those who demonstrate racism and hatred within their own circle — the workplace, their greater family, or in public. These are the places where each of us may have the most power to influence, however slightly.
Interrupt that great-uncle at the barbecue who has been given a pass by everyone for years because he’s “from a different time.” Call him on his shit in front of everyone. Those friends from high school or college that you meet every so often for a drink? If they need to be politely (or otherwise) corrected, that is your role. Everyone needs to get with the fucking program. Tell them that this is a different time.
Work to do, white people.