What Can We Do About Subconscious Racism?

Ester Bloom has joined Ta-Nehisi Coates in urging us to have a frank conversation about how to fix the massive racial injustices that inhere in our country. Coates proposes monetary reparations as an institutional remedy for the crushing toll of slavery, Jim Crow terrorism, and subsequent racist public policy. But what about the deeply ingrained attitudes, especially among white people, that perpetuate racial injustice? I don’t mean the cartoon plutocrat racism of Donald Sterling, which is ultimately a distracting anomaly. I mean the subtle favoritism that crops up in the choices we make when dating, hiring, and choosing where to live—the implicit racism we never consider. What’s the reparations for that, and are we willing to pay the price?

When Society Makes You Feel Like a Criminal

Ross Gay, who teaches creative writing at Indiana University in Bloomington, has a really good essay about racism and identity in the current issue of The Sun Magazine. It’s especially worth reading in light of the Trayvon Martin case.

Gay grew up in a largely white, working class neighborhood in Philadelphia where he often heard the N-word thrown his way. He became so used to being perceived as a criminal, that it has even affected his shopping habits.

‘Black Babies Cost Less to Adopt’

NPR’s The Race Card Project has received thousands of six-word stories submissions, and one of them “Black Babies Cost Less to Adopt” showed how some adoption agencies uses different fee structures based on a child’s race. The fee structures aren’t really open to the public, but Caryn Lantz, an adopted parent provided a screen grab from an agency of what those fees could look like.