The Rationalization of Racial Injustice

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People of color in the United States, particularly young black men, are burdened with a presumption of guilt and dangerousness. Some version of what happened to me has been unfairly experienced by hundreds of thousands of black and brown people throughout this country. As a consequence of our nation’s historical failure to address the legacy of racial inequality, the presumption of guilt and the racial narrative that created it have significantly shaped every institution in American society, especially our criminal justice system.

WATCH: Black Lives Matter Activist DeRay Mckesson Helps Stephen Colbert Confront His White Privilege

YouTube / The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Image via YouTube / The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

“Baby steps.”

That’s the amount of progress leading Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson agreed Stephen Colbert made toward overturning his white privilege when the two sat down on Martin Luther King Day to discuss racism.

The interview got personal when Colbert switched seats with DeRay, letting the activist ask the questions. Colbert’s responses are clearly well-meaning, but also genuinely awkward. White privilege is tough for white people, even (perhaps especially) for renowned television hosts.