When I lived in Philly it was common to hear the word 'ignorant' to describe someone engaged in bad behavior, even very aggressive or offensive behavior. In this way you can maintain the moral high ground & not engage the offender with an angry or vulgar response…& oddly I sensed a parallel with the raging warrior demons of classical Hindu mythology, i.e., they're evil because they just don't know any better. I appreciate the sentiment, but I'm not sure if 'ignorance' aptly describes racism in this country to me anymore. I think what we're seeing instead is a strategic & willful denial, to the point of psychosis...a country time & again more willing to shoot its own d*ck off than to look its non-white populations square in the face & see itself, see that we are literally one another, not in some meaningless abstract sense but in fact at the molecular level, composed of each other’s blood & love & toil. It makes our fates inseparable, & it makes the ‘race problem’ very much a white one, & a critical one to solve. I can’t say I’m optimistic about the long term prospects, either, because we seem to have this crybaby conqueror narrative firmly in place, where you can be running the world & still consider yourself a victim, always under threat of a coup from things like affirmative action & immigrants & religious diversity & unflattering portrayals in the media, & honestly I don’t think I’m going to live to see the white men & women of America magically turn into adults. They just seem to hate themselves too much to ever love anybody else, & this is a terrible shame, because both in the micro- & the macrocosm, love is an engine that creates possibilities. Your nite sucked until somebody you love dropped into it, amen? Love nourishes, & by love & peace humans have always prospered. Despite all the rhetoric, though, I’m no longer convinced that prosperity per se is what all these scared, angry, ‘ignorant’ people really want. CR

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