Yes, yes, I know, everyone likes to hate on the Dallas Cowboys. But I’ve been a vocal fan (singing in the desert, off key) for 5+ decades and this is not going to stop. Back when I had co-workers my seriously defeated, yet always hopeful boys made for frequent conversation. A few of the surprising reactions were down right KKK talking points. How allowing them on teams ruined white-man’s sports. Some of these racists can be really racist about these things.
I'm only maybe a third of the way into the book, but I think one of the message's will be that most Americans don't think they're racist but are.
After all, the NFL is a very black-centric sport owned and operated by a covey of billionaire white boys. How much more racist could you possibly get, right? Ok so the modern black slave in the NFL can pull down some serious $$$, serious fame, perceived social influence, and social power but the relationship is still the same. Give the black boys some bling and they go earn their owners $$$billions. That’s $$$billions in real influence and real political power.
Is this racist? Is this a business taking advantage of a willing resource and a voracious demand? Both? Just a holdover organizational model from the old days?
I, and millions of other fans of football, real football, real American football, the kind of real American football where you actually score points, are in love with this game, its history, personalities, the rivalries. I support the game for the sake of this most wonderful human expression of controlled competition - sport. I don't feel racist or race motivated. I just love watching CeeDee Lamb squeeze the sidelines then do a double toe-tap in the endzone as he snags the ball out of the air. Glorious.
Am I a racist? Yes. As Tangle said, we all are all the time in our primitive us/them mind. It’s what you actively do in situations that raises the social questions. Since I don’t live in such an atmosphere I can have no conception of what constitutes the finer more hidden forms of racism that I could never see. So, like a good little scientist, I have to ask those subject to it what they consider it to be.
To my heart’s joy in my reading of black culture I find very little truck for any tirades against the racism of the NFL. There are too many working to change that and they feel they are making (some, small) progress. Sport is changing our society (Thank you Mike Wilbon). Big league football (remember, real football, not that fakey "don't score" kind) is apparently racist-litePM in this society in contrast to The Washington Redskins scenario.
My point is, if we want to know what racism is and what to do when we encounter it, all we need do is shut up and listen to what the victims say happens to them. Ask ‘em. Let them write the books.
Dr. Robin DiAngelo, author of this book, is a white girl. Yes, well steeped in the academic side of the race debate, but, regardless of her studies I find it hard to imagine she has any feel for what black/white racism subtly occurs in this society having never been subject to it. And in her heart, she could never feel it.
I haven’t done any deep dive on the good doctor or her theories so I have no issues with her attempting to give a white treatment to the issue of race discussions. But, as you slog through her work, if a major point is not “racism can only be defined by its victims” then drop that burning cinder of ignorance.
I know I'm racist just from growing up and living in white privilege, but isn't knowing that i'm racist half the battle?
But the larger question is whether I'm contributing to America being a racist nation?
The answer to both questions is yes. It’s good to be aware. Now, as for specifics on the ground of what to do/don’t do, maybe your book will help. But, then again, the perspective will not be from actual experience nor the wrenching emotions that go with it.
What I hear you saying, however, is good. Talking is good. What do you think would be the reaction of your friend if you pressed him (gently)?
I'm thinking a major social difference between European and American experiences with race/slavery/prejudice is the fact that Europe gave up slavery voluntarily and could do so because the economic disruptions were minimal.
Not so in the USofA. We had to fight an especially bloody war to break the economic hold slavery had on the culture of half our nation. The old wounds (great loss of wealth, power, blood) still haunt our prejudices.
If you are stopped for a traffic violation, as a white man, you have the right to not be shot dead for looking suspicious. And, if you are in police custody as a white man you have the right to not have your neck slowly crushed till you suffocate to death.
People of color don't have these rights in this society. That is your white privilege.