Peak-a-boo! I see you!

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday, 5 – 4, that Texas can ban the use of Confederate flags on its license plates.  Clarence Thomas surprised many observers by casting the deciding vote.

Wednesday night, nine people were gunned down in an AME church in Charleston by a young White man who hates Black people.  At the capital in Columbia, the South Carolina state flag was lowered to half-mast, but the Confederate flag was not.

Last week, it was all Rachel Dolezal all the time.

This on the heels of nearly a year of Ferguson, Cleveland, North Charleston, Baltimore . . . etc.

I’ve been teaching Race in America at Hope College for over a decade now.  Every semester, if I mention something about the class to someone else, the automatic response is, “Wow.  This must be an interesting semester to teach about race.”  And every semester I am able to answer, “Yes, it is.”

Race is everywhere, all theMother and daughter (8-9) playing with baby boy (6-9 months), smiling time.  We see it and experience it and talk about it over and over and over.  And yet we always seem surprised.  We’re like a baby playing peek-a-boo: startled every time the other person pulls back her hands to reveal her face.

Our infantile response to race is rooted in myth, ignorance, and denial.  Social science research can’t tell us everything, but it does have some very helpful information–wisdom, even–about the role of race in American life.

There are three main sections to this web site:

  • Our Context:  Where We Are
  • Ourselves:  Who We Are
  • Our Options:  Where We Go from Here

For the best understanding of the big picture, start at the beginning and make your way through, point by point.  Or you can select the topics that seem most interesting, or most pertinent to your questions.  I’ll be grateful for any time you can spend here.  Feel free to leave a reply below.  Thanks.

Charles W. Green, Professor of Psychology, Hope College

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