This needs to be quoted in full: Shirley Sherrod’s victory: A teachable moment on talking race Race-Talk
But for now, I'll just leave you with this:
I watched David Gergen, whom I admire, talk yesterday about Ms. Sherrod’s “ascendant quality,” about her ability to rise above the legitimate racial pains of her past to help this white farmer. And then ironically my morning meditation was on Ephesians 4:8-9, a passage about Christ’s ascension and freeing of the captives. So it dawns on me: Americans want Black women to be Jesus. We are to be spit upon, mocked, discredited, and crucified, but at the end we are to forgive and remain gracious. As a strategy of personal living and transformation, that’s fine, but no one should have to be Jesus to do their job effectively.
...But I think those folks who think that eliminating racism starts with eliminating “race” are just plain wrong.
In fact, we’re trying that strategy now, and what it has led to is a vacuous rhetoric of colorblindness and racial transcendence, all the while hard-working Black women can lose their jobs on a whim, immigrants who’ve been working hard and shoring up the service economy in this country for decades are being deported, and young Black men and women continue to be murdered by the police. Deciding that “whiteness” and “blackness” shouldn’t matter when they clearly do matter is not the solution. [bold emphasis mine]
Read the whole thing.