‘It’s hard to be white in America, too’

‘It’s hard to be white in America, too’

I’ve been thinking about my grandfather and his gun these past few weeks, ever since a mob outside a gas station in Detroit beat up a man who had accidentally hit a child with his truck after the kid stepped into traffic, perhaps playing a game of chicken. When the driver stopped to come to the aid of the child, he was attacked.

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Was the beating race-related? Probably. This is America, after all. This is Detroit. We have a history. The city has endured three major race riots….

Sadly, the talk after the attack on Mr. Utash wasn’t about a man who stopped to do the right thing. It wasn’t about Ms. Hughes, the gun-toting angel of mercy who saw no color except the red of his blood. It wasn’t about the use of justifiable force or the value of carrying a sidearm.

Instead white people asked: Where were the old-school civil rights advocates who usually spoke out against such beatings? Where was Reverend Al? Why did it take Jesse Jackson almost two weeks to say something? Not that any of them really wanted famous civil rights leaders coming to town and marching around. What they seemed to be demanding was an admission from black leaders that blacks harbor racial hatred, too.

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