‘It’s exhausting trying to bring white people up to basic racial literacy’

‘It’s exhausting trying to bring white people up to basic racial literacy’

Since the riots in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, comments on social media and in my inbox have revealed a powerful subtext in this country. We rarely speak it, but if met head-on, we could establish a lingua franca for creative conversations, or just better informed ones, about race.

At least that’s what I hope.

It begins, for me, with an open secret. Something black folks often whisper, and I speak now with as much gentleness as I can muster:

It can be exhausting trying to bring white people up to a basic racial literacy.

Many don’t even know what they don’t know about privilege and history, and often either don’t take responsibility for their own education or expect you to educate them.

And I wish there were a racial primer out there somewhere — mandatory reading — with five or 10 basic facts about housing, education, criminal justice and employment….

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