Ask people about racism in the US and many of its citizens will say it’s a thing of the past. People of color have equal opportunity and, if anything, there is now reverse discrimination. But how do we explain the marked difference in college attendance between whites and non-whites? The extremely disproportionate rates of incarceration of black men? Racial profiling by law enforcement? Labeling young males in our ghettos as superpredators? And the acceptance of the so-called fact that “they” are just different than the majority “we.” Easy to justify when speaking from a position of privilege, be it skin color, gender or economic status. Elaine Brown has found a disturbingly insidious nature to racism today. A racism whereby middle class whites and blacks alike are quick to condemn an accused man whose only crimes may be that he’s poor and not white.
Elaine Brown is former chairperson of The Black Panther Party. She is on the executive board of Mothers Advocating Juvenile Justice and lectures at colleges and universities across the U.S. She is author of two books, her memoir, A Taste of Power, and The Condemnation of Little B.