Writing at the Bangor Daily News, Sociology Professor Michael Rocque explains that, despite the denials you hear, of course it’s about race. A nugget.
It is the vehemence with which the “it’s not about race” argument is made that I wish to address here. Simply because overt racial prejudice has declined does not mean that racism itself has also declined in our society. Yet any claim that race matters is met with defensiveness and strong denials. This is understandable (and a good thing, in a sense) because it means that being overtly racist is not acceptable any longer. But we are living in an age in which racism is “ color blind” in that disparities are said to be caused by anything but race. The racism we live with is systemic and institutional. And while this form of racism is not necessarily as overt as someone using racist or disparaging remarks, it is likely more harmful. This means that our structures are built in such a way that makes life easier for certain races and more difficult for others.
Chattel slavery, justified by a mythology of racism, is America’s original sin. As with any sin, denying it does not make it go away.
Do follow the link. Granted, the man needs an editor, but what he says needs hearing.