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Sat Jan 13, 2018, 07:00 PM

The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial

The ugly side of America is rearing its head--and it is not pretty.



https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/opinion/sunday/heartbeat-of-racism-denial.html?ribbon-ad-idx=4&rref=opinion&module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Opinion&action=swipe®ion=FixedRight&pgtype=article


The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial

Ibram X. Kendi

Jan 13, 2018




President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in December. Mr. Trump has described himself as “the least racist person that you’ve ever met.” Evan Vucci/Associated Press




When our reality is too ugly, we deny reality. It is too painful to look at. Reality is too hard to accept.


Mental health experts routinely say that denial is among the most common defense mechanisms. Denial is how the person defends his superior sense of self, her racially unequal society.

Denial is how America defends itself as superior to “shithole countries” in Africa and elsewhere, as President Trump reportedly described them in a White House meeting last week, although he has since, well, denied that. It’s also how America defends itself as superior to those “developing countries” in Africa, to quote how liberal opponents of Mr. Trump might often describe them.

Mr. Trump appears to be unifying America — unifying Americans in their denial.
The more racist Mr. Trump sounds, the more Trump country denies his racism, and the more his opponents look away from their own racism to brand Trump country as racist. Through it all, America remains a unified country of denial.

The reckoning of Mr. Trump’s racism must become the reckoning of American racism. Because the American creed of denial — “I’m not a racist” — knows no political parties, no ideologies, no colors, no regions...............................

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