Demonstrators protest the release on bail of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis on October 7, 2020.

There was no racial reckoning

Updated 9:51 AM ET, Tue May 25, 2021

(CNN)They tell me I've experienced a "racial reckoning."

I keep seeing that phrase pop up in news stories. I hear politicians and CEOs use the term as if there's no doubt it's true. I even put the phrase in one of my own headlines without ever asking myself what a racial reckoning meant.
It's hard to avoid using that phrase, because it reflects a consensus. A year after the death of George Floyd, many Americans routinely describe the protests that followed last summer as a singular, racially transformative moment.
But I've reached an uncomfortable conclusion:
Floyd's death did not lead to a racial reckoning. And those who care about racial justice should welcome the absence of one -- or at least the version I'm talking about.
The "racial reckoning" phrase has become a rhetorical decoy, a way to avoid facing the deepest problems about race in America instead of a call to confront them.

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I know that sounds blasphemous. Floyd's death sparked what some called the largest protest movement in US history. White support for the Black Lives Matter reached an all-time high. Demonstrators toppled Confederate monuments. And so many people bought books on antiracism that booksellers had trouble keeping them in stock.
It seemed as if we were finally turning the corner. Maryland lawmakers passed a series of police reforms that limited no-knock warrants. The Seattle City Council banned chokeholds and tear gas by police. Small predominantly White towns held Black Lives Matter rallies.
City workers remove a statue of Confederate soldier Dick Dowling from Hermann Park on June 17, 2020, in Houston, Texas.