I have a confession to make: I'm white. I have some Latino relatives on my mom's side, and my avatar is a black guy, but when people see me, they see a white guy, and that's really what matters most in today's world. In the past 48 hours, we've begun to have another one of those ephemeral national discussions about race thanks to Richard Sherman. A lot of elegant words will be written and a lot of despicable vitriol will be splashed on our twitter timelines. And then most of us white folks will forget and move on, like we always do. It's part of our white privilege: we only need to focus on race during moments like these, and then we can go back to the unbelievable luxury of not having it be a part of our daily lives.
Like a lot of other white guys, I've lauded some great articles written by virtual friends of mine, like Greg Howard and Tomas Rios. White people love to do that. It's conscience-cleansing and an easy way of distancing ourselves from the vile riffraff whose ugly words have been held up in almost pornographic fashion for everyone to gawk at and mock. It also distances us from our stiff cousins and grandparents who said that Sherman was classless, and those backwards rednecks who called him a thug (which we all now recognize as a barely-disguised code word), and anyone else who it's easy for upper middle class suburban educated liberal white folks to imagine when we proudly think of how progressive we are when it comes to all things racial. Except, the thing is, we're not.