Over the past nine days, I've done ten presentations about the socially-constructed, political notion of race in the United States beginning with one entitled "What is Racism and How Do I Know If I Have It?" that I gave before 85 people in the Student Union on the 17th. Yesterday, a young European-American man came to me after class and said flatly, "You've just convinced me that I've been right all along."
"About what?" I asked.
"That there's definitely going to be a Civil War in this country over race," he responded.
"But we could change that if we want to," I countered.
"But we won't," he continued.
I searched his face, looking for something, anything, I could pin hope to.
"Kennedy said, 'Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.' That suggests that we have a choice. We don't have to make peaceful change impossible..." I said quietly.
But he was already gone, his back passing through the door of my classroom on his way to tomorrow.