With the recent news that the billionaire entertainment mogul, Oprah Winfrey was not allowed into a posh French boutique after hours, reportedly because was SWB (Shopping While Black) I can't help but notice that some folks took this incident to mean that regardless of how much money you have “you are still a nigger”.
As I think about the psychology and pathology of such a perspective I cannot miss the notion that such a valuation of one's self is handed over to the judgment of the offending racist. Billionaire Oprah, recently voted the most powerful figure in the entertainment industry could easily purchase the entire Hermes and fire every one of the employees, repopulating the entire chain with people of more considerate views. Yet some of the folks with the perspective that I mention believe that regardless of how rich and powerful one gets they will be cheapened by the views of others and will never escape their state of Blackness.
In my view it is faulty to evaluate the state of racism and oppression by the views or actions of individual people who prove to be exceptions and use this as an inference to what the “rule” is.
Using the situation that happened a few years ago in which James Byrd was dragged to his death by 3 white racists I choose not to view their misdeeds as feedback on the state of racism in America. A more logical perspective is to note that these 3 white racists were punished under the modern set of laws that say everyone will be held accountable for their actions that violate the law. There is little doubt that in the year 1911 such a dragging death would have either not found it's way into court our the killers would have been found “not guilty” because of the racism that was allowed to fester in the system.
We are not able to control the actions of rogue individuals. Their actions represent the views and values of an individual. Society speaks by it's application of laws that refuse to allow the violation of such laws to go unpunished.
To yield so much of one's value into the hands of another only debilitates the one who is handing their self worth over to another. They won't achieve a high state of self until these other folks grant it to them.
Surely there are several hundreds of thousands of social interactions between people of different races. It seems more reasonable to me to quantify the massive number of those that go off without a hitch than to focus on the interactions in which blatant racism takes place.