"We inherit our ample patrimony with all its incumbrances; and are bound to pay the debts of our ancestors."
Works for me. I'm a scion of Greek and Irish immigrants who perhaps never directly profited from the slave trade, but I live with the knowledge that for all my fears and faults, unless I absolutely lose my shit and completely flip out...society will almost certainly give me a pass if screw something up. Because Straight White Male.
I know this to be true because I have experienced it. Drunk driving, picking up prostitutes, drugs etc. My experience with authorities has been "You are So Bad! I will give you such a Slap on your hand and the sternest talking-to you have ever had!! Now go free and sin no more." It helps that I have been polite and contrite in those situations...but what helped more? My skin color.
There was an article I read not long ago from some guy who said living as a SWM is like playing your favorite video game on 'easy'. Well, in this country...and in much of the world, that is assuredly the case. Nobody assumes that I'm going to steal or make trouble, No one is afraid of me particularly, my credit union keeps wanting to give me loans at reasonable rates, etc.
Even in my world travels, clumsy well meaning White Man has carte blanche: sometimes the reaction is 'scram, whitey' but more often 'welcome to my place of business, please spend money!' I have seen enough ingrained discrimination against Black people specifically that I know if my mind was the same but my heritage African...I could not live nearly as well as I have in this society. I have done nothing to deserve the not insignificant benefits of my heritage.
Land of the Free, All Men Created Equal are just words. Nice ones that make us feel good. But not really descriptive of how we live. Not that being White is that easy, it's just being anything else is undeniably harder. Of course if you are dumb, unlucky, sick, addicted, broke; the world is a terribly difficult place for anyone. I see more than my fair share of messed up white folks around town...but this (long, depressing, well researched, necessary) article lays down the truth about America's almost continuous insistence on a tiered society, and I for one wish something could be done about it in a constructive way.
But how exactly? 40 acres and a Cadillac? Cash payouts? Educational grants? Public housing done right this time???
As the article seems to state, just bringing it up, having the discussion and being honest with ourselves about how this unfair and unequal situation came about is a start. I have one more suggestion:
End the War on Drugs. That and the Prison Industrial Complex which for all intents and purposes is the solution to a diabolical question "How the hell do we put those Negras back in chains?"