Ben Jealous, former NAACP president and CEO, hit the nail squarely on the head a few years ago when he said, “Ultimately, only men can end sexism, and only white people can end racism.”
African-Americans have been willing to dialogue with whites on race for some time. America’s white community is the drawback keeping interracial talk from occurring.
The Republican Party is overwhelmingly made up of white people. As it does with poverty and economic inequality, the GOP rarely, if ever, acknowledges racism still exists in our country.
With the ball in their court now, Republicans have a golden opportunity to take the initiative to engage in a long-overdue dialogue on race. The white church also has a big responsibility, morally and spiritually, to contribute to the process. America needs many white Martin Luther Kings today.
I agree with a statement written more than 50 years ago by author James Baldwin: “The Negro is the key figure in his country, and the American future is precisely as bright or as dark as his.”
Dialoguing about race in America is white folks’ burden. Now is the time for us to begin.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr.