Thank you for this article.
I agree with much of what you say, but I don't see this as deterioration as much as exposure of the deterioration that has happened for centuries. White people tend to perceive the current state of anger and conflict as an imposition of something 'bad' on an otherwise 'good' nation, which implies that 'identitarians' (of course, the original identity was invented by white supremacists when they invented race) and/or ‘lefties’ have caused these issues. I agree with you that, even as children, we heard a lot of positive things about America without hearing much truth or getting the real factual information as to the way in which Europeans enriched themselves, worldwide, at the expense of a wide range of POCs.
It may seem especially ugly right now, but this ugliness was always there. It should be assumed that if one small group of people organizes worldwide to create systematic thievery of land and poaching of most resources from the other 90% of the human race, those other 90% will eventually show that anger. Anger for many POCs--including a mixed race, first generation, nonBlack one like me--is routine. We have had to hide it most of our lives due to white supremacy and the hard work white people do to remain ignorant about their permanent (unlike economics or gender) advantage. That PERMANENT advantage, which was installed when Europeans invented race, works well for white people because it can't be altered; similarly, no matter how well POCs do we are always framed as inferior.
These problems have always existed in the minds of most POCs--they are just more overtly expressed at this point. The anger is about POCs finally having a voice, and the white response essentially says 'we don't want you to have a voice because then our unearned power and our unjust enrichments--gained worldwide, at your expense--will go away.’ I think each white person needs to examine their own stance, and if this is their actual one, consider what it means to be a moral member of one’s society; this stance doesn’t include morality.
When I think about negative reactions to this situation, the first thing that occurs to me is this: are white people as individuals negotiating their permanent advantage in moral fashion? This is what will allow for an alteration of our current situation, but will likely also mean that the vast unjust enrichments will instead justly enrich those POCs who have earned them.
This anger isn't new to POCs; I believe it is new to white people who often, instead of thanking others for finally showing the truth, try once again to push it under the surface to avoid admitting their privilege. In order to move forward, white people need to prepare for admitting BOTH collective, institutional white supremacy that favors them at a societal level AND the individual privileges they receive, which are the building blocks of that white supremacist inequity.
I note that even those white people who call themselves ‘liberal’ and who are able to admit the white supremacy ‘over there’ (not with them) and which is institutionalized also NEVER seem able to admit, when they get promoted or receive an award, etc, that accepting it without asking which POC was deprived of it comprises white supremacy at an individual level.
I would urge all liberal white people who acknowledge institutionalized white supremacy to also acknowledge, when they as an individual is granted some privilege, that this privilege is ALSO white supremacy at work. Individual white liberals are excusing themselves from this too often, framing others as ‘racist’ while participating with a studied ignorance.