A lot of my friends, including my fellow white liberals as well as Tea Party Republicans, think that racial discrimination in the United States is a thing of the past. The only problem, as many of them see it, is the bad behavior of the black underclass.
I accept that there is such a thing as a black underclass, in which crime, addiction, ignorance and irresponsible sexual behavior are acceptable. I don’t know enough to say to what degree these are problems of the African-American culture specifically and to what degree they are problems of the larger American culture, although I suspect the latter.
But I do not believe that members of the black underclass represent African-Americans. They are not a majority of the African-American population. The black people I’m acquainted with are all middle-class professionals like myself, or struggling poor people with middle-class values. Most of them had…
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