Last Sunday, Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby argued that reparations for slavery were both unworkable and unjust, sparking a heated conversation among readers.
One commentator who goes by the username “bostonpitt,” was not swayed one way or the other, but the piece got him thinking about race and empathy.
“I’m not sure reparations are the answer. But I do know white people having a more [empathetic] attitude will help to improve the environment for blacks to do better. It’s tough being black in America. Your very existence is constantly questioned. Many white people feel that all blacks have to do is have stable two parent households, good schooling, and work hard. If blacks follow that formula, the white world will accept them with open arms. I have said this before and I’ll say it again, it is white Americans who have the furthest road to travel. Racism is so ingrained in our dna that we are blind to its effects.
The great American writer James Baldwin said to be black in America is to be in a perpetual state of rage. If you are white you hear and see every day acts of bigotry. Do remain silent or do you eradicate it?”