Thanks for this great article. I noticed that the presence of Patrice Harris as President of the AMA and Lightfoot as mayor of Chicago have helped draw attention to these issues, which underlines the importance of allowing black people positions of power. Frankly, I’m more surprised when I see attention paid to these issues because many, many times — even in my lifetime, not just centuries ago — these issues have been ignored.
This underlines the import of allowing black people in America leadership positions. This fundamental switch in power allows both of these women to draw attention to these long-standing problems and is the key to forward movement. I doubt strongly that Redfield would have broached the social root of these issues had he not been educated by women like this; in the past, not only lay people but ‘official’ people with ‘knowledge’ have made statements that subconsciously support the notion that black people are ‘lazy’ and ‘not disciplined.’ I admit that, when I watch these conferences, I often expect dog whistles of all kinds.
Still, the darkness remains because the fundamental psychology isn’t being addressed. To me, the important issue is the root psychology, because it can lead to lasting changes as opposed to forcing people like the women above to reiterate, over and over again. The root psychology is the self-deception that privileged people employ in order to replace a range of behaviors with the falsehood of ‘merit.’
I believe that the concept of ‘merit’ should be properly termed ‘unjust enrichment’ AND must be negotiated as a central concept to the fundamental root psychology, and not just from a formal legal standpoint. Until the fundamental psychology is changed, there will always be the temptation for white people as a group to default their privilege to merit, which typically results in white people in charge. This puts a continued burden on people like Lightfoot and Harris, who have essentially attained token status, to continue to repeat themselves. Without addressing this root psychology — the very strong tendency for privileged humans to give themselves credit even when it isn’t due by distorting the concept of ‘merit’ and thus resulting in unjust enrichment — all the effort these women make will never go away. I’m sure you know this already, but I think it needs to be out there in all possible forum.
Thanks for your great articles. I’ve learned so much from them and, once again, am introduced to someone new in Neely Fuller. I sent your story to a friend.