Look, racism has had quite a long life here in the USA. I mean, those were 242 really hefty years, and that’s not even counting the colonies! But it’s finally about to all be over! Everyone knows that only really old people are racists. All my generation has to do is wait for them and racism to die out. That’s all we have to do, right?
Otherwise, we would have to actually do something about it.
Yes, systematic oppression is complicated to untangle since racism is almost irrevocably entrenched in our culture, all of our public and private institutions, and our own unconscious minds. But I still feel like all that is just going to start fizzling out on its own.
Wanna say about 20 or 30 years?
So maybe there are some bad apples out there but we all know that people in younger generations just can’t be racist! It’s impossible! We just don’t have the same biases our parents do because we’ve grown up in completely different times with completely different messages about race. I’ve never even seen “The Wire,” drug dealers on Netflix can be whatever color they want.
I know my parents said racism was dying out in the 1960s but that was the 1960’s! Schools were still segregated back then. Unlike now! My public school in Scarsdale just happened not to have any non-white students but I’m sure that’ll change really soon. Plus, my parents didn’t even have one friend of color. I have Kevin! And I assume I’ll meet more members of minority groups once any of them work where I work or live where I live!
And I just saw “Green Book,” people were always saying the N-word back then. No one in this generation says that! Otherwise, it would be like we’ve barely made any progress at all!
Okay, so how about we give this whole racism thing 40 years?
Young people are going to college in record numbers and, with so much diversity now, you can’t be racist if you’re in college. Especially, an Ivy League college. I wrote a really long paper about intersectionality and the nation-state for a poly sci seminar and my whole class said it made a lot of sense. So are we all set here?
Just look at how millennials voted! Maybe 37% of us voted for Trump but that doesn’t matter because most of us didn’t even vote! Because we’re so frustrated with the racism from all the old people in the system. But, once they’re dead, we’ll just jump in there and fix everything real fast.
Could I take a more active role in dismantling my white privilege? Maybe. But I have posted about meaning to go to marches! So that’s supportive. Plus, my dad’s friend just got me this great job and I just moved to Queens because the rent is really cheap so I’m just really busy.
As Whitney Houston said, I believe that children are our future. But I’m a millennial and it seems like Gen Z is doing such a good job. March For Our Lives, wow! I wouldn’t want to get in their way. They wouldn’t lead us to more racism, that’s not the song!
All right, let’s say 50 years tops?
You have to learn racism and infants today just aren’t learning like they used to. So apparently “children exposed to racism tend to accept and embrace it as young as age 3.” But just think about all those 2-year-olds that aren’t racist. THEY should really be leading us!
Is that the answer? Can I stop thinking about my actions in a system of systemic racial oppression I am inherent complicit in and go back to being blissfully unaware of my racial identity now?
Actually, you know what, I’ll just say 60 to 70 years. That’s probably enough time.