Once upon a time, the white working class was the colossus of U.S. politics. White working class voters were the largest bloc in the electorate. They provided the foundation for the New Deal, the most durable political coalition in U.S. history Today, the white working class vote faces multiple challenges to exerting influence, as their numbers and clout have declined.
Rachel Dolezal's actions are a potential pitfall for any White people on the journey towards recognizing the truth of what it means to be White and accepting responsibility for it. But we cannot not be White. And we cannot undo what Whiteness has done. We can only start from where we are and who we are.
Socialized into a deeply internalized sense of superiority and entitlement that we are either not consciously aware of or can never admit to ourselves, white people become highly fragile in conversations about race."Getting it" when it comes to race and racism challenges our very identities as good white people.
We are responsible for the sins of the present, both the individual sin of prejudice and the social sin of racism. When I saw racism on my campus as a college student, I looked away and stopped attending those parties. This sort of passive resistance is not enough. White people must speak out against these behaviors.