There was a book in our Little Free Antiracist Library entitled, “Black Rednecks and White Liberals” by Thomas Sowell. I’d never heard of Thomas Sowell and there was no picture of him on the book jacket. There was, however, a short review, praising the book, by a Fox News commentator, so I suspected it was probably not conducive to our antiracist purposes. Before recycling it at McKays though, I did my homework and was, yet again, humbled by my own racism.

The author, Thomas Sowell, is a conservative black man who claims there is no such thing as “systemic racism” and staunchly rejects other antiracist concepts that I have learned in my recent studies to teach my white self about how to be antiracist. Nevertheless, he grew up in our country in black skin and somehow came to different conclusions than some of his peers.

Okay. I already knew that like white people don’t all share the same world view, black people have differing opinions, too. But somewhere in me, deeper than the rational knowledge that all people are unique individuals, the racist in me wanted to use a broad brush to make black folks of one mind-set. Probably needless to say, I returned the book to our LFAL so that Mr. Sowell’s voice could be heard.

I’m sure I would not agree with Mr. Sowell about a lot of things, but our library is not the “Little Free Liberal Library” and it is important for me to be reminded, yet again, that I’m too quick to make assumptions about someone just because he is black.

Any insights to share about your journey towards antiracism? We’d like to hear from you!

Janet Inmon ([email protected])