Part of America is tiptoeing toward an uncomfortable self-examination about race. But President Donald Trump, bunkered down in his fortress behind high fences now ringing the White House, is spurning a building wave of national reflection.
Sensing a moment of national reckoning, some major corporations, company managers, major sports leagues and white politicians have felt compelled to speak out. Anecdotal signs of a shift can be seen in Amazon bestseller lists dominated by books about racial prejudice. A story about a heart-to-heart about race between an airline executive and a flight attendant from a rival carrier was a feel-good moment in a wrenching week.
NFL quarterback Drew Brees on Thursday repudiated his own criticism of players who take a knee during the national anthem. “I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening … and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen,” Brees said.
There is a notable absentee from this broadening debate: Trump. While he has condemned Floyd’s death and promised justice several times, the President, who has a history of flinging racist rhetoric, is not examining his own prejudices.