Kivel explains that when we talk about race, we tend to talk about individual acts of racism. But he sees that discussion as just a cover for the systemic racism that begins with a stolen land, continues with the slavery and exploitation of labor that built this country, and that still drives large sectors of its economy.
The US has a race-based culture, he says, that is reinforced every day, in jobs, housing, the criminal justice system, and education. The problem is, because white people mostly deny it, they have never developed the lens to really see racism. Thus denial and minimization become the default policy.
Recent polls show that the majority of whites don’t see race as even a top ten problem. There’s a belief that if it is going on, it’s “not in my community.” Yet this week we saw election results that showed that the polarization and homogeneity among racial groups is stronger than ever. Can this ever change?
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