By David Marcus
When The New York Times decided to run an opinion article from a black law professor asking whether his children can be friends with white children, the response was swift and predictable. It was outrage. Some called it textbook racism. Some even compared the professor, Ekow Yankah, to white nationalist Richard Spencer. Likewise, the Times had scorn heaped upon it for running the article.
My own reaction was somewhat different. Yes, the piece is provocative and clickbaity. No, I am not comfortable with any parent advising his children to be wary of other children on the basis of their race. But after several years of writing from a conservative, white perspective on race, I noticed something else that confirmed a familiar pattern.
Very few detractors took the time or effort to look at this piece in a nuanced way, to see if, even though they vehemently disagree with the conclusion, they can learn something from how the conclusion was reached. That was the spirit in which I read the article and I was rewarded for it. In fact, something lurking in my own work about race jumped out at me in this paragraph:
Let me assure you that my heartbreak dwarfs my anger. …read more