But the facts are the facts. As Professor Fryer explained in Dallas at the weekend, there are racial differences in the use of non-lethal force by police officers, with blacks largely at a disadvantage, but not in officer-involved shootings. In his speech afterwards, Shelbey Steele, the author of White Guilt, summarised the implications of this reality: despite the fact that some racism does still persist, America remains the best country in the world to be black. We all applauded when he said that. It should not have been a sensational remark. And yet it was.
Everyone in that room understood, as the attack in Buffalo demonstrated, that certain individuals are motivated by a loathing for black people. But this shouldn’t define us, let alone the country we live in. For black Americans to progress, we need to cast off today’s dependency on white guilt for recognition and support. What is the way forward if you accept that blacks in America are free? It is to have the courage to live that freedom. It means holding ourselves accountable for our behaviour. It means learning to shape our destiny regardless of skin colour. And it means ignoring the divisive rhetoric propagated by those such as Patrisse Cullors, Kamala Harris and Ibram X Kendi.