On Monday, USA Today tweeted a link to one of its opinion columns that was sure to turn heads on this Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.
The column was written by Oliver Thomas, a white minister, lawyer, and member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors, according to his bio.
“Centuries of kidnapping, torture, murder, rape. What white person can understand black lives? Not me,” his piece begins.
Thomas recalls his father dubbing King an “agitator” because everywhere he went, chaos followed.
“So we killed him,” Thomas continues. “Not me, of course. I’m not a racist. But who thinks he is?”
“So we tried to fix it. Made his birthday a national holiday. Put him on a pedestal. Where we can honor him. And he can’t poke us in the eye.”
The drivel continues as Thomas plants his tongue firmly in cheek stating how we’re “square” with blacks because we have The Civil Rights Act and The Voting Rights Act:
Come on, we’ve even elected a black president! That’s why people who look like me have a hard time understanding why so many black people are still angry while others have given up on America altogether.
Then he passes it on over to another race baiter, Ta-Nehisi Coates to “boil it down for you” and remind white people that all their achievements are attributable to the broken and bruised backs of slaves. (Oh, and Native Americans, too.)
Thomas said he was asked to speak at an MLK event and here’s his message:
No white person understands the black experience. Not Bill Clinton. Not Bernie Sanders. Not me. Not anybody. We can’t understand the black experience any more than I can understand how it feels to be a woman.
Where does this leave us? Are whites and blacks condemned to live only parallel lives with a great chasm forever separating us? Not necessarily. White people could rise to the occasion. We could perform the first and more fundamental act of love.
We could listen.
Or “we” could keep writing and posting irresponsible articles such as the one USA Today so proudly tweeted.