Blatant Racists Aren't the Problem—You Are
Lots of people think they're more enlightened than they actually are: Nicholas Kristof
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2014 1:40 PM CDT
In this Aug. 16 photo, people protest the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

(Newser) – As America once again examines its race relations, Nicholas Kristof writes that it's not the guys in white sheets we need to worry about. Instead of "overt racists," we should instead focus on the "broad swath of people who consider themselves enlightened, who intellectually believe in racial equality, who deplore discrimination, yet who harbor unconscious attitudes that result in discriminatory policies and behavior," he writes in the New York Times. That's where the conversation needs to start.

Kristof cites a number of studies to bolster his point—video game players (including Kristof himself) are quicker to fire on a black person than a white person, doctors dole out more pain medication to white patients with a broken leg, etc.—but he stresses that the cause isn't hopeless. The nation has made huge progress on race over the decades, and good training and smart policies (police cameras, for example) can help. But we must acknowledge that "racial stereotyping remains ubiquitous," he writes. And the main problem is "people who believe in equality but who act in ways that perpetuate bias and inequality." Click for his full column.

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Showing 3 of 183 comments
WillyB
Sep 23, 2014 10:47 AM CDT
I wonder where the author puts himself in the scale of racism. Since racism is "ubiquitous", I can only presume that he is likewise racist, as are all blacks, Hispanics, all other races, and I suppose all the people on Earth. Or did he mean the liberal "ubiquitous", meaning simply all conservative or republican white folks, who in their minds are all racists?
Ezekiel 25:17
Sep 5, 2014 10:08 AM CDT
Black education against racism starts at birth. Countering the Black "defeated" state of existence only begins in a Black home. Since it doesn't happen, you get young defeated Black youths with feelings of invincibility because they are already defeated and have absolutely nothing to loose and no further down to go. Imagine getting out in the neighborhood and walking with your head held high knowing that nobody or no thing will bother you today. Not bangers, cops, family, rules, laws, boundries and limits. So when a young Black man kills someone, its not because of any one single reason, its all of the Black education that has happened to that kid since birth. So the best thing for Americas Black youth to happen is for the government to seize all Black babies and then raise them out of that defeated state in which they grow. Then send that kid down the street and he/she has that feeling of success, respect, kindness, intelligence, determination, pride, and accomplishment. So a group of compatriots drive near that kid and roll down the window. Instead of him ducking for a tree he goes up to the window. One of the Black kids in the car yells, "oxidation!" The Black man yells back, "Cellular Mitosis rules!" The car drives off.
Williemojorisin
Sep 5, 2014 9:49 AM CDT
Those of you filled with "white liberal guilt". In a race war. They will kill you too. As will the islamists. Who you try not to offend.