To what can we compare racism? Racism is like an IED, and Improvised Explosive Device. It lays hidden with intent to create terror, to limit activity, and to kill those who leave the boundaries defined for them. Or racism is like land mines, intentionally created and carefully planted to create a border that can only be crossed with great loss of life and limb.
But at the end of wars, great effort is made to find and remove such devices lest the terror and killing continue.
Some have noted racism is “worse” since President Obama took office. Some have complained that people of color and their allies find racism under every rock.
America, if we are serious in our stated desire to put race behind us, we must place great effort in turning over every rock and every other place where the overwhelming number of IRD’s, Improvised Racist Devices, and the intentionally created and placed race mines lay hidden but active. And we need a process of truth and reconciliation to creatively work to disable them.
For a time, this will open up the wounds of terror and hurt, making it worse, not better. But if we do not enter into this process, then we are not serious in our claims that race needs to be put behind us. The war is still on.
If we do not urgently and intensively enter into a truth and reconciliation process to turn over ever rock and disable every explosive racist device, the next time a peaceful traffic stop for a broken tail light ends with a black man dead on the pavement, don’t gasp in surprise and ask how this keeps happening. It is the inevitable price of the continued race war from which we do not repent.