Optimism turning to Pessimism on the Question of Race

A (or One) Skeptic

I used to like to point out that if you lived in the lilly-white suburb of Newton Massachusetts — where I grew up — that your mayor was black (Setti Warren), your Governor was black (Deval Patrick), and your President was half-black (Barack Obama) but mostly perceived as black.

That has to be some kind of progress, I liked to point out.

But I’m not so sure anymore.

  • That was before we had how many stories of unarmed black men being shot by (mostly) white cops. (I’ve lost track of the number)
  • That was before we had black kids at a pool party being thrown to the ground by their hair they wanted to enjoy a pool party.
  • That was before we had a black merchant choked to death because he was selling a few illegal cigarettes. (I can’t breathe!)
  • That was before we had some nasty white punk shoot…

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