Comments and Discussion

  • Matthew Lieff

    I think one of the main problems is that segregation breeds ignorance, and ignorance breeds fear; its only natural to fear the unknown. Lots of white folks grow up in lily-white or almost-lily white communities, never say more than 10 words to a black person when they’re growing up. Their minds are filled with stereotypes from TV and movies and the crime news and so they are just scared, and fear breeds hatred. Consider this: most black folks in this country who accomplish something worthwhile in business, academia, the arts, politics, the professions, know what its like to be “the only black face in the room” and learn how to deal with it. You HAVE to deal with it, or else you won’t get anywhere, ’cause most all those things are pretty much run by white folks. Isn’t that right? Most white folks, on the other hand NEVER have the experience of being the only white face in the room — it just doesn’t happen! Because black folks are only about 10% of the population and so many neighborhoods are segregated. If there was compulsory national service for all young people, I think we might overcome this problem in a few generations. I don’t suffer from this problem because, fortunately for me, I was blessed at an early age with the experience of being the only (or just about only) white face in the room many times — like in the locker room before cross-country meets, and the church socials I went to with my first girl friend who was daughter of an AME minister.

 

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