About ten days ago I finished reading THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS by Isabel Wilkerson and wrote my review. But the book continues to haunt me.
I keep imagining myself living as a Black American during the heyday of Jim Crow in the South. When virtually every aspect of life, for every black person, was controlled by white people. Where you could live, what school you attended and what resources that school had, what jobs were open to you, how much you were paid (and by how much you could be cheated), where you could travel, how you behaved walking down the street, even how safe you could feel in your own home.
These same people in power who made all the rules could also whimsically determine when any rule could be bent or broken, forcing black citizens to play a continual guessing game. With the potential for dire consequences whenever they guessed wrong. And all this under a system that prevented Black Americans from voting and was completely unresponsive to any infraction committed by a white person against a black person. Including lynchings. Yet, these same Black Americans continued to grow our crops, build the American economy, and serve in our military.
And we white people sometimes question why there is still a race problem in our country? And now we have a racist living in the White House.
Is this merely the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction, in reaction to 8 years of our first Black president? Are we simply living in an extreme moment? Will this all go away soon?