There are a lot of comments going around the internet that sound like a sort of backlash against the Ferguson and I Can’t Breathe protests. It’s white folks taking umbrage, maybe feeling left out, like ‘who’s protesting the fact that my life sucks too?’
I think comments like that can be viewed as somewhere on a spectrum, the extreme bad end being racist, but it’s probably usually best viewed this way: a lot of white folks aren’t aware of their racism. It’s all part and parcel of the beliefs around social things – Original Sin, Nature over Nurture stuff, a pedestrian disdain for psychology and social science generally. It seems to me to be rooted in some sort of idea that despite the bad things happening in the world, still, somehow we need to see everything as being all right.
Everything is OK, we’re not screwed up or racist, we’re just dealing with the screwed up people in the poorest communities the best way and the only way possible. It’s the world that’s bad, not us.
This “colour blindness” is at it’s core, optimistic. Of course, optimism isn’t always a good thing.