is the title of this Charles M. Blow column for tomorrow's New York Times. I just finished listening to Blow (among others including Jeffrey Toobin, Mark Geragos, Anna Deavere Smith, Geoffrey Canada, etc) at at Town Hall on Anderson Cooper. His words - and those of others - were moving.
Blow's written words are just as moving.
Consider just this opening paragraph:
On Friday President Obama picked at America’s racial wound, and it bled a bit.It is still bleeding, as some are screaming "how dare he" at the President.
There is not much one can add to Blow's words, nor should one try.
Consider the words he offers after quoting the President's remarks that Trayvon could have been him 35 years ago:
With that statement, an exalted black man found kinship with a buried black boy, the two inextricably linked by inescapable biases, one expressing the pains and peril of living behind the veil of his brown skin while the other no longer could.Or consider what Blow says after recounting the President's remarks of his own experience of the fear of whites towards him because of his black skin:
With his statements, the president dispensed with the pedantic and made the tragedy personal.
It is in these subtleties that black folks are forever forced to box with shadows, forever forced to recognize their otherness and their inability to simply blend.There is more. There is so much more. There are words of Dubois. There is analysis of what the data says Blacks think about bias and other things.
But most of all there is the keen understanding and the ability to express what we should all understand, at what the President's words pointed.
Blow hits the mark with his final paragraph, which like his opening, is short and to the point, expressing it from the point of being Black and male in America:
We could all have been Trayvon.Go read it. Now.
You will be glad you did.