I haven't done anything but skim the article yet because the title all by itself so describes a conversation I had with an unaware, card carrying racist a few years back. She was trying to become less racist but having little success because of...
HER BELIEF THAT LIFE IS BASICALLY FAIR
This is exactly what the worst of unconscious racists have in common, including the ones most likely to willfully not see the pattern of behavior continued by the Zimmermans, Slagers, and Pantaleos.
Most people understand the words "life is unfair."
Parents start saying those words to children young, if they plan on being good parents. But many racists (and sexists) do not fundamentally believe in their hearts of hearts that UNFAIRNESS has been distributed unequally.
Saying that "unfairness has been distributed unequally" should have the same meaning as "life is unfair" But it doesn't mean the same thing to many people. Know why? Because many people do believe that life is fair, despite the words "life is unfair" leaving their lips fluidly and often. And while some say they do understand unpleasant times come for everybody, that they do not come for everyone equally, they only believe in unequal unfairness when a person person tells them that they are a member of a tribe starving to death on the other side of the planet.
But you couldn't possibly be suffering from unequal distribution of unpleasantness and unfairness in the U.S., right?
UNFAIRNESS UNEQUAL DISTRIBUTION AND RACISM
When you do not believe that unfairness can be distributed unequally almost anywhere, including the United States, then you start making justifications for why those people that are victims of x while my people are not victims of x. If 'everybody has it just as good as we do, then it must be that those people did something to bring x on themselves.'
In contrast, if another set of victims called "y" look just *just like us* then this is point at which well, something real and really bad must have happened and might ALSO happen to US, me and my group. And when this happens, someone must be punished! Laws must be changed....if policeman are killing people at will and getting away with it.
There is so much of just-world-theory inside, outside and weaving through unconscious racism that I wonder if we'll ever know everything that happened to people like Miriam Carey, mentally ill or not.