Black People Can Handle It: Empathy and Educational Inequity


A lack of empathy perpetuates racial disparities…. At least, that is what Slate writer, Jason Silverstein, argues. Touching on a plethora of severe identity issues within our “post-racial” society (just kidding, that doesn’t exist), Silverstein demonstrates problematic assumptions on “what it means to be black.” Answers to this question are often infused with essentialist claims about the existence of a monolithic black experience: pain, struggle, disenfranchisement, poverty, racism, etc.. This view is not new, but to what extent do these singular notions of blackness perpetuate racial disparities?