Charlottesville Is Why White People Need To Read A Book (or, the Violence of “This Is Not Us”)

I was cursed at birth. My birthday is February 12. So that means I share a birthday with Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. So I was destined to be bitten by the history bug.


If you were on social media yesterday, or listened to the news, then you heard/saw a common refrain…..”This is not us.”

Let me tell you something, white people…..



And since nobody answered the questions of the quiz I posted a couple of weeks ago, I get to ask them again.

1.  What do I mean when I use the word “redemption”?
(if you think I am talking about the theological term, stop here. You have failed the test.)

2.  Who is Ben Tillman?

3.  What is important about Colfax, Louisiana?

4.  Who are Jefferson P. Long and Robert Smalls?

5.  What did the Civil Rights Cases of 1883 say?

6.  What happened in Memphis May 1-3, 1866?

White people saying “this is not us” is violence. Because this is us. These things have been happening to Black people in this country for time immemorial. Black people have been trying to get white people to understand this for time immemorial.

There were white people surrounding a black church with torches on Friday night.  This is not new.

Clergy were attacked while peacefully standing vigil yesterday. This is not new.

People died yesterday because of the actions of white supremacists. This is not new.

So, white people, I need you to read a book. Start with W.E.B. Du Bois’ “Black Reconstruction in America”. Because you perpetuate violence when you say, “this is not us,” when U.S. history is nothing but this.

more later.


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