NYT Op-Ed: Can My Kid Be Friends With White People After Charlottesville?
A professor wondered Saturday whether his young children would be able to be friends with white people, in light of events like the Trump presidency and the Charlottesville riots.
Ekow N. Yankah, a professor at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, argued that he will have to raise his children to have serious “doubts” about whether they can have true, meaningful friendships with white people, in a New York Times op-ed.
“Donald Trump’s election has made it clear that I will teach my boys the lesson generations old, one that I for the most part nearly escaped,” Yankah wrote. “I will teach them to be cautious, I will teach them suspicion, and I will teach them distrust. Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people.”
Yankah said he would be raising his sons to be wary of friendships with white people because not only has history given minorities few reasons to be able to trust white people, but also due to the tendency from Trump supporters to turn a blind-eye to President Donald Trump’s “malice” towards people of color, citing past comments from Trump.
“Mr. Trump’s supporters are practiced at purposeful blindness. That his political life started with denying, without evidence, that Barack Obama is American — that this black man could truly be the legitimate president — is simply ignored,” Yankah said. “… I do not write this with liberal condescension or glee. My heart is unbearably heavy when I assure you we cannot be friends.”
Despite this, Yankah argued that he has hope that in the future he can give his sons a more “hopeful” answer about friendships with white people.
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