Confession is good for the soul, so it is time for white America to confess its ongoing lies to black America. We have been lying to you, and it is time for that to stop.
But before I tell you about the lies, let me tell you some things that we have not been lying about. These things are actually true, for the vast majority of us:
- Black lives matter. We believe this.
- All Americans deserve equal justice under the law. No one should be mistreated or unfairly treated because of the color of their skin.
- We oppose police brutality, for blacks and for everyone else. Cops should not abuse their authority.
- Slavery and Jim Crow were evil.
- Racism is evil. We oppose it.
- All men and women are created equal.
- For white Christians, all people in the world – all of us – are created in the image of God and are of infinite worth and value. That includes black people. Each black person is a magnificent work of art crafted by Almighty God. We must love black people the way God loves us. We are called to love our neighbors, no matter what they look like.
- We want to see continued improvement. We would like to see less racism, and we are willing to work towards that.
So, at least we can agree on those things, right? But now, on to the confession.
There are different kinds of white liars. Some lie for political reasons. Some lie for religious reasons. Some lie because they think if they don’t, they might face backlash. Some lie to gain social credit. Some lie even to themselves. But here is what we have been lying about.
Cops are racist and kill black people because they are racist. This is a lie. We don’t believe it. The statistics don’t show it. We think it is obvious that some black communities have frequent run ins with the police, and we suspect this creates opportunities for mistreatment. So, we can understand there are some bad feelings. But we also think the frequent run ins are a result of crime in the neighborhoods in question and not skin color.
We mean it when we “say their names.” We actually don’t. The truth is, most of the “names” we say along with you are not examples of actual police abuse. We could be easily convinced of abusive situations, but we would need to see the actual facts. We would stand with you against such abuses. The George Floyd video was awful. But lots of the “names” you throw out were killed, even if tragically, under justified circumstances.
Systemic racism is real. It is not only not real, no one can even define it. You cannot solve something that you cannot define. If there were laws that discriminate on race, we would be willing to repeal them. If businesses discriminate on race, we are willing to see them fined and their practices changed.
America is a racist country (meaning, white racism). Of course there are white racists in America, but we don’t actually believe America is a racist country. In fact, as far as the “majority population goes,” America is the least racist multicultural nation in the world and probably in all of world history. We whites don’t sit around and talk about you behind your backs. We cheer your successes. But mostly, we are just busy living our lives, like you are living yours. We don’t have time to devote ourselves to racial hatred.
America was founded on racism. Nope. We don’t believe this. America was actually founded on the greatest ideals in world history. It did not live up to those ideals at first, but we fought a war to end slavery, and we ended Jim Crow too.
Blacks cannot be racist. Another lie. Anyone can be racist. This nonsense about “institutional power” required to be racist is just that, nonsense. White Americans are actually getting really tired of the double standard.
Black poverty is a result ONLY of racism. We know the country held black people back legally for a long time. We recognize that fact, and we are willing to account for it. But if we are being honest, we see a great deal of dysfunction in the black community that must be addressed. This list would include the decline in two parent families, crime rates, welfare dependence, lack of focus on education, glorification of destructive behavior, even songs about “WAP.” We are willing to do our part to bring more wealth to black Americans (such as affirmative action to account for past inequities), but our willingness will grow less and less over time.
We value the ongoing protests, because those are needed to make people listen. LOL, no. It is not like we don’t see and hear your complaints. It is just that we don’t always agree with them. The confrontational protests and especially the violent protests actually make more white Americans less motivated to join the movement.
Phew! That feels better.
I hope if you are reading this you are appreciative that I value you enough to speak truthfully to you rather than to say one thing to your face while I quietly mean something else.
Obviously, this entire post is hyperbole. I don’t speak for white people as a group, and not all whites think alike. We are all individuals (no matter our race or culture). We should all be treated as individuals.
But we do need more honesty in our national discussion. I hope you can see the positive things I led this post off with as more important than the things that followed.
People of good heart want to see more justice in this country. They want to see more unity. But they are tired of the lies we tell ourselves.