Mr Sununu sentiments are shared by many. No race or gender is immune. Through the years, Mr Sunnun has come in contact with many blacks, however his comments leads me to conclude, few if any of these black people are close friends. If he were exposed to blacks he would know blacks like his white counterparts are not of one mind.
I find people with little exposure to other races and cultures often use one large paint brush, assuming that a culture or members of a different race are of one mind. Even before 9/11, there were many Americans who were suspicious of Muslims. Millions of Americans have reached conclusion based on images and actions of a few. Any brown skinned person wearing a turban is suspect.
Through the years, people have asked if I agreed with the views of Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton. Most assumed I supported Obama. ( I supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries) Assume I’m a Democrat.
A few years ago I was a volunteer (one of a hand full of blacks )at an Earth Day event at Sacramento State and someone I was working with assumed I was there as a result of an Affirmative Action program. She was red faced when reminded her, like every one else in the booth I too was a volunteer.
Based on images at home, there are many people of color who assume all whites are wealthy an assumption held by some members of my family when I married a Caucasian . There are some men who assume if it is a woman candidate women will naturally vote for her.
It’s easy to paint these people as racists or sexist. If we are honest, many of us know a John Sununu, many of us have similar views of people outside our circle. It’s an Honest Ignorance . For those policy makers,those in power, “Honest Ignorance” can have a crippling effect There is danger in the brush.
Expanding our circles beyond the comfort of people who look and believe as we do often results in a different view of the world, beginning with our own communities.