Let me start by saying that I am not an expert on race. On the contrary, until a few years ago I knew very little about the history of blacks in America. What I've learned so far has caused me to have a paradigm shift in the way that I view race in America. Here are some things I hope everyone will consider. Some of these questions are mine, others come from here.
1. Young black boys growing up on plantations in the Delta were often required to miss school in order to work the fields. This went on well in the 1960's. How would this practice effect literacy in black families today?
2. My parents and grandparents were able to rent housing in any neighborhood they could afford.
3. They were also able to get home loans regardless of the color of their skin. If not, how would that impact their ability to build wealth?
4. I can get a job with an employer who believes in affirmative action without co-workers suspecting that I got it because of my race.
5. From very young ages, children look at the world around them in an effort to understand how and where they fit in. Can you look in mainstream media and see people who look like you represented fairly and in a wide range of roles? If not, how might this influence your unconscious view of yourself?
6. I can go shopping most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
7. If my car breaks down on a deserted stretch of road, I can trust that the law enforcement officer who shows up will be helpful.
8. I think twice about calling the police when trouble occurs for fear that they will assume I am the problem because of the color of my skin.
9. The schools in my community teach about my race and heritage and present it in positive ways.
10. If you're good at something do people call you "a credit to your race"?
11. If you speak properly do people tell you that you "talk white"?