Our Racial Moment of Truth by Isabel Wilkerson

In her op ed piece (New York Times, Sunday, July 19, 2015,) Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns, sees the removal of the Confederate flag and the publication of Harper Lee’s early manuscript Go Set a Watchman, in which the bigotry of an older Atticus Finch, the father-hero of To Kill a Mockingbird, is revealed, as marking an historical moment “to finally face ourselves.”  As David R. WIlliams, Harvard professor of sociology, whom she quotes, says, ““This complex pattern of behavior is not unlike the actual racism that resides in many Americans today, . . . As an American raised in this society with negative implicit biases against black people, you are not a bad person. You are simply a normal American. We have to come to grips with the reality that this racism is so deeply embedded in our culture that it shapes how we see the world, it shapes our beliefs, our behavior, our actions toward members of other groups. We have to examine ourselves in a profound way.”  Wilkerson also references The Richmond Times-Dispatch‘s call for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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