The president told us on Friday what it’s like to be black in America.
A couple of days before that, his attorney general said that America needs to be honest about race. Since then, any number of prominent black people have said we need to have a national discussion about race.
Let’s have a discussion about race.
Not a one-sided harangue, but a two-way discussion. Let’s move beyond the politically correct “Whites are racists, blacks are victims” and actually talk things out.
You do that by hearing both sides.
Toward that end, in the spirit of the president’s remarks, I’d like to discuss what it’s like to be a white man in America. And I’d like to be held to the same standard as the president. His remarks were personal impressions based on generalizations, traditions, culture and folklore.
He was called brave.
I’ll be called racist.
That’s because our system is based on a double standard. Black criticisms of white society are insightful; white criticisms of black society are bigotry.
White people know that if they say anything that doesn’t exactly toe the line of political correctness, they run the risk of losing their jobs and their public reputations. We live in a society where the accusation of racism is evidence enough; to be accused is to be guilty.
That’s what we white people think.
We also think that we pay the bills. We think that we disproportionately pay the taxes and that black people disproportionately collect the welfare. We feel like we are being ripped off and that this uneven shouldering of the burden will eventually bankrupt and kill our country.
I work in a building that houses a Social Security office. One elevator serves that office specifically. It is stunning to note the demographic difference between the elevators. Overwhelmingly, white people go up one set of elevators to work, and black people go up the other set of elevators to apply for SSI.
Young, healthy people.
All day long.
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