About 75 people, an estimated 90 percent white, marched down Main Street in Bozeman, Montana, to protest racism and extreme police brutality on Saturday. As I followed along the route, I heard a woman tell her friend that the protest was dumb. A man made a joke implying that because so many of the protesters were white, their message lacked credibility. And another man, apparently thinking this was a protest against all police officers, leaned toward the open window on the passenger side of his pickup and yelled, “God bless law enforcement,” as he drove past.
Each of these people denied that racial injustice is a problem. They want to ignore the facts that tell us those with darker skin have fewer opportunities for financial security and more opportunities for oppression. I agree it’s a tough issue to face. It’s shameful and inflammatory. But ignoring it isn’t going to make it go away.