This seems right to me:

And one other thing I think weve gotta remember. As easy as it is for those of us who are white, to look back and say Thats a terrible statement!I grew up in a very segregated south. And I think that you have to cut some slack and Im gonna be probably the only Conservative in America whos gonna say something like this, but Im just tellin you weve gotta cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told you have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you cant sit out there with everyone else. Theres a separate waiting room in the doctors office. Heres where you sit on the bus And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.

This is also why I think facile counterfactuals in which a white preacher makes a mirror image statement about black people are not at all compelling.

Eduardo M. Peñalver is the Allan R. Tessler Dean of the Cornell Law School. The views expressed in the piece are his own, and should not be attributed to Cornell University or Cornell Law School.

Also by this author
© 2024 Commonweal Magazine. All rights reserved. Design by Point Five. Site by Deck Fifty.