Vail Daily letter: Going nowhere, indeed
Claire Noble’s Thursday column, “Race talks going nowhere” was a perfect illustration of why race talks (what race talks?) in general may be going nowhere. Ms. Noble is unwilling to even try to understand the experience of minorities subject to continual suspicion and stereotyping by the dominant, wealthier, more powerful white segment of the American population. Is she really surprised that the people who have been on the losing end for the last 400 years might still harbor some resentment?
The examples she found of African-American racism were laughable — certainly not in the same ballpark as getting stopped for “driving while black” or being shot for being a black man pulling his cell phone out of his pocket.
If Ms. Noble thinks that blacks came out of the Civil War in better shape than Southern whites, she’s much more ignorant than Azealia Banks. Ta-Nehisi Coates is a thoroughly decent and intelligent writer, and when he says that “America is a congenitally racist country, erected on the plunder of life, liberty, labor and land,” he’s only representing what an honest and careful examination of our history would lead an objective person to conclude, even though it may not be what we hope or wish for.
Finally, her assertion that mainstream white America repudiates bigotry is pretty questionable. It appears to me that mainstream white America listens to Rush Limbaugh and is perfectly willing to believe that the president is not a U.S. citizen. It looks to me like the former Confederate states vote as a block, and if you track which way they’ve voted for the past century and a half, up to and including the present, it has everything to do with race.
It would be great if no one ran around saying nasty stuff about other people based on race. I don’t think white people lecturing black people, in the Vail newspaper no less, about what they should or should not say, is likely to contribute to achieving that end.