There’s a sinkhole in my chest. Salty waves burn my cheeks, boiled by the seething rage in my gut. I was 16 years old when four black girls were blown to bits in their Birmingham, Ala., church.
On the day I became a citizen (at 21), Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Today (at 68), I see nine more massacred in their Charleston, S.C., church.
Although I’m horrified by such barbaric acts, I’m more dejected and enraged by the frantic scramble of white politicians, pundits and media blowhards trying to rationalize this latest massacre as anything other than a KKK-style racist terror attack.
But, what burns the deepest and hottest is my utter distain for my white brothers and sisters, who adamantly and ardently refuse to acknowledge and rectify the chronic, systemic and corrosive racism that permeates our society.
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The day-to-day, year-in-year-out degradation and exclusion meted out upon nonwhites in our country in the employment, scholastic, criminal justice, housing and health care spheres inflict a level of pain and suffering I, as a white man, have never had to endure.
I’d like us to stop doing this before I die. Let’s really live up to our creed of “liberty and justice for all.” Please.