Because here’s the thing: the system didn’t fail. The system did precisely what it was designed to do. This is the way it has always worked. The way it worked for Emmett Till 60 years ago, for Rekia Boyd 16 months ago, and for the countless unarmed black and brown people killed by white supremacy before, in between, and after them. This country was built on the dehumanization of people of color—the genocide of the Native American, the enslavement and mass murder of the African. This is what we do. So, the question isn’t why. The question isn’t how, in 2013, this is still possible. The question is, simply, are we mad enough yet? And if so, what are we prepared to do about it?
If I was going to put together a reader on white privilege — and maybe I will — this would be in it.