Black in America


When I, a “white” (male, Northern, liberal, Jewish, 21st Century …) American, think about the plight of blacks in America (that is to say, African-Americans in the United States), one simple image comes into my mind as typifying its essence: a black man (just happens to be a male in my image, perhaps because I would have more basis for identifying with a male), slave or free, under the power of an idiot, bigoted white man (man because the typical power-wielder, I suppose, whether it be overseer, prison guard, traffic cop, supervisor, teacher ...; but of course any white citizen, male or woman, can make trouble for a black man or woman if not appeased), and the black man is thinking to himself (or making silent acknowledgment to a black companion), “What an idiot this is whom I am powerless to confront or even ignore, now and in most of my life and life prospects.”
            This is a sentiment with which almost anybody can empathize, I assume, because it is an almost universal human predicament in one form or another. But what a colossal drag, to put it mildly, to be in a position like this for one's whole life! It is a blessing, therefore, that so many have found the strength or the opportunity to rise up against it and met with success.

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