BY JIM GRIMSLEY
A long time ago, after a church service on a bright Sunday morning in the small town where I grew up, I heard one of the deacons tell another that he didn’t believe colored people really wanted civil rights and integration. “If God had meant white people and black people to mix he would have made them one color,” he said. He made this claim in spite of the civil rights demonstrations that were going on in our home state of North Carolina and across the country, in spite of nonviolent and violent protests.
I have written a memoir about those years, during which I watched the dismantling of Jim Crow laws, and since its publication I have taken part in many conversations about race. In those discussions I have found that black people are all too aware that progress on racial issues has hardly moved forward at all, while white people are nearly as blind to their racism as ever.
Comfortable in our beliefs, [white liberals] ignore the fact that we sit inside an ideology of white superiority that gives us enormous advantages.