When some say African Americans can also be racist, that is not accurate. So says noted sociologist and author Margaret L. Andersen. Individuals can be prejudiced, sure, but racism is linked to a system of power. Since there is no gene for race, what is it really all about? In her new and timely book Getting Smart About Race, Andersen argues that calling racists “racist” only makes them dig in their heels. No one wants to be thought of as racist. She says that statistics show that appealing to a moral consciousness actually does work. And with formerly majority white Americans fast becoming a minority, there is fear as if others will cut in line and get what they do not deserve. But she says one does not have to lose out on anything as a white minority. It is good to acknowledge the value of diversity, not like the colonizers did, but from instead sharing power. It’s been a frustrating long time coming, but Andersen has faith in young people addressing our old racism habits.

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