In the city of Portland, Oregon, a conscientious African-American named Cameron Whitten has created a happy hour during which any citizen of color that shows up at a predetermined bar receives $10 to spend, paid for by white people.
The goal is to begin the process of healing and reparation to those communities which white people have made to suffer throughout history. Whitten has already been asked to apologize for the idea as it may be interpreted as a frivolous attempt to amend that suffering. That is to say, he is being asked to apologize for asking others to apologize. Following the event, Whitten got into an online battle with the New York Times over the way it covered his initiative.
Whitten’s happy hour reveals how well blacks are doing in the U.S. They aren’t even the largest minority — that would be Latinos — nor are they treated the worst, either historically or in current times — that distinction belongs to Native Americans — but they have monopolized the debate on race relations. That has left the country in a situation where any questioning of what a black person does is racist. This is true regarding hip-hop as well as clear displays of racism by blacks like Chris Rock, who at the 2016 Oscars made jokes about child labor in Asia.
The United States of 2018 is a country fractured on many levels and for many reasons. This is one of them. Today, many white people with low levels of education feel that they are paying the tab for everyone else. They could be wrong. But nobody will bother debating them.