Discussing The Undiscussables: Too Many White Progressives Believe In ‘Animal Farm Equality’ – Forbes – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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One of my favorite literary works in high school was George Orwell’s Animal Farm which of course is a satirical novel about a group of animals breaking away from the bondage of humans and deciding to build their own new independent society. They found their new society based on lofty ideals—one key commandment being “All animals are equal.” Unfortunately, before too long, conflict, jealousy and other problems surface and eventually that commandment is amended to read, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Indeed, the parallels between that narrative and the history of Black people in America are stark. It’s obvious hypocrisy to found a country on the principles of equality and freedom while establishing and supporting a society and economy based on chattel slavery and race-based subjugation (even going as far as adopting a Constitution defining Black people as 3/5 a person). Fast forward to the present day and thankfully we have indeed progressed beyond overt racial caste systems and government-sanctioned racial discrimination. Yet for all our progress, in 2021, racial equity continues to be one of our most pressing societal challenges, and workplaces have begun to tackle issues of equity and anti-racism like never before. While race relations have certainly improved significantly over four centuries, many scholars argue that racism didn’t end; it evolved. Part of that evolution means that racial barriers and racist actors have become increasingly subtle and much less overt. In fact, many would argue that one of the biggest barriers to real progress are actually White progressives who espouse a commitment to racial equity and an aversion to racism, but they remain painstakingly reticent to encourage substantive, structural change.

Actually, this perspective is anything but novel. In Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” he clearly identified the White moderate

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