NYT Writer Says His Children "Cannot" be Friends with White People

NYT Op-Ed writer says that, because of Donald Trump's election, he doesn't feel it's "possible" for his children to be friends with white people, and he's going to teach them that. Is this really where we're headed? Does it need to be?

I was troubled to see an opinion piece in the New York Times over the weekend, the premise of which was to wonder whether or not he would recommend to his children that they could be friends with white people (spoiler alert: his conclusion was “no”). The reason? The election of Donald Trump, of course.

The author, Ekow Yankah, lists behaviors, character traits, and policies of Trump’s which he finds objectionable and essentially notes that, because white people voted for him, he will teach his small children they “cannot” be friends with them. Why? He makes the assumption that Donald Trump is president because people were in favor of his policies.

While there are, clearly, many Americans of all races who favor some or all of his policies, that is not what decided the last election. The 2016 presidential election came down to which candidate was hated the least. As a percentage, very few actually supported Trump or Clinton. In fact, it was quite clear that both sides felt stuck with the candidate they had and were in a dilemma as to what they were going to do come November.

Plenty of rank-and-file Republicans were embarrassed that this was the candidate of their Party, but when faced with the prospect of Hillary Clinton as president, they swallowed their objections and voted in the only way they felt they could. And, certainly, let’s not pretend that the least likable, most corrupt presidential candidate in recent memory was dearly loved by her base. No, the base of the Democrat Party was revolted and / or terrified by Trump, and that outweighed their distaste for her. When it all shook out, however, it appears that she was even more hated than Trump.

Even though it seems Mr. Yankah’s premise is at least partially faulty, his troubling views ought not be dismissed, as they find resonance with a percentage of the population.

He says in his piece that he is heartbroken to be in this place and holding these views. I was heartbroken to be reading them, because it is a further splintering of any foundation we had as a nation. Race relations have deteriorated significantly in the last eight years, and I fear things won’t be getting better any time soon.

As a white person, I can only own the experiences I’ve had living in America. And as a conservative, it could be easy for me to look at these types of sentiments with a skeptical eye, since this is supposed to be the Land of Opportunity where bigotry can’t ultimately hold you back, since you can go elsewhere if you’re discriminated against. But that wouldn't move me closer to my goal, which is healing and reconciliation.

If we hope to heal these growing rifts, we all need to come together on some things. As Americans can we acknowledge that different races have had different experiences in this nation and that, just because I haven’t experienced a thing doesn’t mean it doesn’t go on?

Additionally, can we also acknowledge that the injustices that occur are not ubiquitous? There are racists and non-racists in every race. I’m not trying to make a moral equivalence here; rather, I’m pointing out that if one begins with the premise that this nation is inherently rotten and irredeemable, there’s no place to go from there except further destruction.

As it now stands, Americans of many races feel under attack, which leads to defenses being raised and readiness to lash out. The question I hope we are all asking ourselves is: What can I do to contribute to the healing of our nation?

Can we listen to those with grievances without raising our own defenses? It’s their story. Let them tell it. And for those who have experienced racial injustice, can you acknowledge that just because a person is white doesn’t automatically make them a racist?

I’m not naïve in thinking this wound is going to be healed quickly. It’s not. But we all see how fragmented and hate-filled America has become, and if each of us doesn’t begin to take ownership of what we might be able to contribute to the healing we so desperately need, we might as well resign ourselves to our fate as we continue to eat each other alive.

The Apostle Paul says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Maybe we could start there.

So, basically this guy admits that he is a bigot. At least he's up front about it. My response is: don't let the door hit you on the way out...

Can't expect redeemed behavior from un-redeemed people.

Except this guy has no intention of being reconciled to you. He's mad that Trump is President, and that's all he'

Except this guy has no intention of being reconciled to you. He's mad that Trump is President, and that's all he cares about. We can be sad that he's using his children as pawns in his political game, but it's his choice to make you his enemy. Tjat

That's not your fault at all.

Whatever one thinks of what Trump has or hasn't accomplished... it cannot be denied that he HAS accomplished an amazing and extremely valuable service to the Republic: He has driven the lefties so foaming-at-the-mouth rabid with hate and outrage that they have finally and irretrievably dropped their masks, those masks of "compassion" and "sanity" and "moral superiority" they kept so carefully in place for so long as they pursued their relentless March Through The Institutions. We see their naked faces now, for what they are. The ugliness, the bigotry, the hate, the totalitarian lust, the condescension, the overweening arrogance -- all is now in plain view. This is a GOOD thing and I believe only Trump could have accomplished it.

Romans 12:18: "if possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." The writer of this editorial is not willing to live in peace with you. Stop trying to convince him that you're really not such a bad guy. He isn't listening. If he cared at all about the truth, he would not be saying these things in the first place.

Keep in mind that the current state of American understanding by many in the black community is that it is a white racist construct, with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution specifically constructed to favor white males at the expense of all others, particularly blacks. This is one more article pushing the envelope to that of total tribal separation, including the destruction of capitalism and Western Civilization as a whole.

Racists, like the Times writer you cite, will always be with us. That's terribly sad. I found my military years to be the most beneficial for breaking through racial/cultural barriers. The fact that, as a chaplain, I dealt most closely with "people of faith" (of all ethnicities) probably meant I was interacting with the best of those in uniform... but I can honestly say that as an entire community, the armed forces create one of the most affirming and least prejudicial contexts in which one can reside.