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By her knee-jerk response to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ article “Reasonable Doubts” (3/31), it is patently obvious that Grace Drucker (The Mail, 4/7) is operating from the position of white-skin privilege and thinly veiled hostility in her energetic scramble to deny, ignore, and discount any authentic African-American experiences. No doubt she and others like her just as energetically embrace the pseudoscience of The Bell Curve and the transformation of David Duke.
It is more comfortable to believe that the entire black population is suffering from some type of mass hysteria than for her to examine the social construction of race and her own racism. If it is not a white experience, then it is not a valid experience.
People such as Drucker are quick to point out examples of black racism while ignoring their own. Why, with such acrobatic and contortionist thinking, one could conceivably come to the conclusion that white people hate black people only because black people are racist. Cognitive dissonance seems to be a dogma of this group. After all, the article in the Washington Post that shows that discrimination exists against blacks at almost every stage of the criminal justice system has no merit. Nor does the experience of blacks on the New Jersey Turnpike, nor the fact that Montgomery County sealed the results of an internal investigation. The examples are legion. But forgive me, these are, of course, isolated and very rare events.
We have, of course, legislated people’s thoughts along with their actions. Why, with the flourish of a pen we had the Civil Rights Act, and the thoughts and actions that caused one segment of the population to lynch and terrorize another segment of the population were gone overnight.
I used to live and work in Japan, where my white friends had some eye-opening encounters with racism. I, on the other hand, hardly noticed the examples, being accustomed to the more virulent forms from my own countrymen and women. In Japan, I was for the first time first an American, second a teacher, and third a black person. Funny how I can tell the difference.