Black writers before me, from James Baldwin to Toni Morrison, have made the point that racism is a poison first consumed by its concocters. What’s clearer now in our time of growing inequality is that the economic benefit of the racial bargain is shrinking for all but the richest. The logic that launched the zero-sum paradigm – I will profit at your expense – is no longer sparing millions of white Americans from the degradations of American economic life as people of color have always known it. As racist structures force people of color into the mines as the canary, racist indifference makes the warnings we give go unheeded – from the war on drugs to the financial crisis to climate disasters. The coronavirus pandemic is a tragic example of governments and corporations failing to protect Black, brown, and Indigenous lives – though, if they had, everyone would have been safer.
From ”The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone And How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee