22 March 2008
Quote of the week
It has been exceedingly difficult to discuss race in this nation for about 30 years, because anytime anyone white or black has tried to make a serious point, the word "racist!" is immediately flung out; lasting and damaging labels are instantly attached to people, and so everyone just shuts down. People guard their words and swallow provocative debating points even if their aim is to generate a real, open and honest forum of ideas because no one wants to be called a racist. This happened to Bill Clinton and to Bill Cosby; it happened to Rush Limbaugh and Geraldine Ferraro, and driving today I heard the word spat out at Sean Hannity. It happened to me, actually, last week, when I was called a "racist" on another blog for writing this; I was also deemed "hypersensitive" about being called a racist.
To which I replied, "I don't think you’d like it."
But see, I didn't think anything I wrote was "racist." I simply made the mistake of trying to discuss race at all.
"Black" America is forced to live a psychic duality, but in a way, "white" America is, too. We are supposed to apparently somehow split our brains, into never even noticing that there are racial differences between us, unless we're working in praise of those differences. So, there are no differences between us ... but we celebrate the differences ... but there are none, and if you think there are, you're a racist. Now celebrate!
Does that make sense? No wonder the national psyche is so battered. No wonder Obama is having difficulty straddling this chasm, despite his long legs. No wonder issues of race are distracting us from a much larger issue, which is whether he is competent to be our president and CIC.
Short answer: We could do worse.Posted at 8:46 AM to QOTW