As a White person who tackles the subject [of racism] a lot, it’s very easy for someone like me or someone like Jonathan Chait. I can write about race all day long and at eight o’clock I can turn it off and put on Parks and Rec. And there’s no moral fatigue to it for me. It’s intellectually challenging, it’s engaging, but it doesn’t bring any sense of an emotional cost.
Whereas the attitude of someone like Chiat is like, ‘Hey guys, why are we slowing down? Things are great.’
It’s very easy to have that perspective. You saw that again in the Civil Rights movement when SNIC was getting radicalized and voting for Stokely Carmichael to run the organization when all these White liberals from Brandeis University were like, ‘Hey guys, why are we slowing down? What’s going on?’
When discussing racism, the differences between White liberals and some African Americans often reflects our dissimilar experiences. And those distinctly different perspectives often impacts our levels of optimism and our moral and emotional fatigue very differently
When I am dead, I hope it may be said, ‘His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.