It ignored the most destructive and widely prevailing racist attitude in our society today, one of which both blacks and whites are guilty. This is the attitude that blacks cannot be held to the same standards as whites.
Recently Donald Rumsfeld, talking about the need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis, used the analogy of teaching a kid to ride a bike. He said that if you never let go of the bicycle seat, the kid will never learn to ride.
An attitude still prevails in America today that we can't let go of the black bicycle seat. That blacks cannot be left alone, to compete head-to-head, to fend for themselves and play by the same rules that every American lives and plays by.
Of course there is a horrible history. One marred by slavery, by Jim Crow and then debilitation by the welfare state.
But soon it will be a half-century since the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. A quarter of black America remains in poverty, the state of our inner-city black families is disastrous and destructive behavior by our inner-city youth is widespread.
These problems will not get solved if the hand of the state remains on the bicycle seat of this community. And the attitude that we can't let go defines today's most virulent strain of racism.
So, in answer to the CNN crew's question, there is indeed racism under the surface in our country today that we're neither really aware of nor willing to admit.
It's a racism of diminished expectations. A racism that says blacks still need special treatment in education and job placement, that we can't give black parents freedom to choose where to send their kids to school, that we can't let low-income black workers build wealth through a personal retirement account, instead of paying Social Security taxes, because they won't know what to do.
This is the racism that will keep this community disproportionately in trouble.
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