Money quote follows:
And when you say “racism is a thing that millions of white bureaucrats and schoolteachers and neighbors quietly accomplished in hundreds of ways, from realtors who quietly refused to sell to black buyers in good neighborhoods to the zoners who didn’t bother to build highways leading to black neighborhoods to fussy neighbors who are more willing to call the cops if they see a black stranger in their neighborhood because black bodies are always coded as a little more threatening to policemen who have also inhaled that stereotype that black kids are older, stronger, readier to do violence, and so shoot a little faster when the face they’re looking at is black,” they’re baffled because there’s no Guy.
There’s just… people.
What white people are all too often unconsciously seeking is The Guy To Blame For Racism, just like we seek out The Guy Who Founded Our Country and The Guy Who Freed Our Slaves and The Guy Who Stopped Racism.
They want A Guy. They need A Guy. They can’t make sense of history without A Guy.
And there’s no guy. There’s just millions of people who have this pervading, subconscious, unexamined opinion about skin tone and how it affects color, and they made – and make! – quiet decisions because of assumptions they’re not even aware they’re making, and how can that possibly make sense when George Washington woke up one morning and knocked down a cherry tree to yell, “I’MMA FOUND A COUNTRY!”?
And I’m always reminded of that Kids in the Hall sketch where they announce they’ve found the Cause of Cancer, and they drag Bruce McCulloch onto stage, and he hems and haws until someone goes, “Tell him, Bruce,” and Bruce sheepishly says, “…I’m sorry I caused all that cancer.”