I’m not sure what this means — “we estimate different numbers based upon our own experience and perception.” Nearly all the statistics I quoted you were of concrete things not open to subjectivity, such as what percentage of the black population is in prison.

I’m not asking you to deny your own experiences. I’m simply asking you to recognize that they are not the whole story. Also, where is your proof of this? “That data is generally obscure or misleading in the statistics.” Are you saying that a bunch of government agencies whose job it is to track such things is either incompetent or purposefully misleading the conclusions? Even if these stats were all 25% off, you’d still be looking at a clear picture of pervasive institutional racism.

You conceded that most people are at least a little bit racist, and yet we aren’t supposed to talk about that? What purpose does that serve other than to let perpetrators (even unconscious ones) off the hook and to disregard the pain of the harmed? To talk about the fact that racism exists and is a problem is not spitting in someone’s eye unless you are justifying the fact that the racist status quo is really OK. To call out injustice should be the most American thing in the world to do. Why isn’t it?

Most racism is not overt — it’s subconscious. This means that it will never get any better until we bring it into the light and deal with it. Same goes with any other social ill. People can’t do better when they don’t even understand how they are creating harm and reconciliation cannot take place when the society that has caused so much sorrow and harm takes no responsibility and offers no apology. I’ll forgive just about anything if someone is genuinely sorry. If they say, “Yeah, whatever, let’s forget it ever happened and pretend things are fine,” it keeps the hurt alive and festering.

The only way that we are ever going to stop killing each other is to move towards a more egalitarian society and to deal with the impediments to that. That is the single solution — no other one has any hope of success, because a social hierarchy predicated on dominance has violence as a central tenet. If you don’t yet understand that after every story of mine you have read, I don’t know what else to do to make it clear.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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