I and other liberal white people, however, must acknowledge the many ways we too have tolerated, encouraged and benefited from racism. It was Democratic President Bill Clinton who deregulated Wall Street, turned the war on drugs and the criminal justice system into a system of mass incarceration, and it was Clinton who used coded language to carry out “welfare reform” with the support of many Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
As every person expressing outrage on the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul after the death of George Floyd knows, inequalities have deepened and the killing of Black people by police continued, whether Democrats or Republicans exercised political power.
It is important for me and other liberal white people to acknowledge our racism as a matter of confession, not pride. Each of us needs to listen carefully to Black voices for guidance while examining the roles we play and choices we make within a thoroughly racist society and culture.
Not being bigoted is a low bar. We need to address structural obstacles and counter our own implicit biases in order to begin to address the racial and economic disparities in our communities.