When people show you who they are…

The woman appeared to be in her 70s, white, beautifully coiffed. She wanted to know whether Donald Trump being elected to the presidency had led to a rise in hate.

I told her that his election did make it easier for people who are racist to feel they no longer needed hoods or anonymity. And what she said next chilled me, even as it didn’t surprise me:

“I’ve been most surprised by some of my friends. I thought I knew them, but I notice that they’re saying things that I never heard them say before.”

The hoods are off. So what better time is there for a conversation about the lasting impact of slavery? That’s what we were doing at the Mount Clemens Public Library, latest stop on the tour for my book “The Burden African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery.”

Why don’t we deal with the burden that African Americans have dealt with and the hard work still being done by racists (and not all people are racists) to continue a system that perpetuates the myth of white superiority versus black inferiority?

It begins with us getting to know each other, for the first time in nearly 400 years.

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