Friday, July 19, 2013


Attorney General Eric Holder has once again pointed out to the American public that we still have to have a conversation about race in America.  The President has joined in.  Lets’ have it.

Let us begin by assuming that all that the professionals of race, from the halls of academia to demagogue preachers tell us about the state of racial relations in America is true: racism is still rampant in America and the lot of blacks and minorities in America is still as it was in the 50s and 60s. 

Now let us ask, what is the point that the professionals of race want to continuously drive home, as a screw into a wall?  It seems the one constant is that racism is the one and overall dynamic moving every social tectonic plate in the U.S.  There is nothing we have done or accomplished to improve on racial relations or “racial justice”.  We are constantly told we need to do more.

So, let us assume that race is the ever present, underlying context of America. So let’s settle it. Yes, racism exists, and in popular parlance, “it sucks”.

Now, what do you and the professionals of race suggest we need, Mr. Holder, Mr. President? More money for government programs?  More midnight basketball?  More food stamps, welfare, free housing? More blacks and minority TV shows? More blacks and minorities in the entertainment industry?  More blacks and minorities in sports?  More affirmative action and preferences for blacks and minorities?  More lenient or special tribunals just for blacks and minorities?  More blacks and minorities in positions in government and private sectors? What is it that the professionals of race see that we haven’t done yet?

Can we include in that conversation a conversation about the exploitation of the subject of race itself?  Can we talk about the role of the entertainment industry? Can we talk about the current lot of blacks and minorities as victims of crime, murder and drop out rates among themselves in cities like Chicago, Detroit, or Atlanta? 

I think America would like that conversation if it would be a frank and inclusive conversation.  At what point do we start giving voice in that conversation to those blacks and minorities who may have views, projects, exemplary lives other than the already trite, and tired victimhood of the charlatans and demagogues of race?  At what point do we discard the failure of demagoguery extolling failure, and instead give political space to those extolling virtue? Will your call to a conversation about race include those voices?

I think the American people would join a conversation about race that is not framed by the same formulaic template, nor one led by the same professionals of race.

Can we be frank with each other?  Perhaps we could start with acknowledging that racism, prejudice, bigotry and profiling are not the sole malady of one race? Even Rev. Jesse Jackson admitted once to profiling, “I hate to admit it, but I have reached a stage in my life that if I am walking down a dark street late at night and I see that the person behind me is white, I subconsciously feel relieved."

At what point do we settle the score on racism in this country? Because this is what is happening with the charge of racism, it is like driving a screw to the point of futility. It is wearing both its thread and its head as a useful term to explain not only the state of race relations but also the actual state of great sectors of the black and minority communities. At what point do we stop turning the screw when turning it more does not accomplish what it was designed to do, when in fact, we may be damaging both the head of the screw and the tip of the screw driver?

At what point does the middle class, of white, black and minorities need to stop paying for an actual state of affairs that is not of their making?  At what point does the middle working class is relieved of any responsibility for the failures of the political establishment? At what point do we stop turning the screw? 

At what point do we discard what hasn’t work and have a conversation that is truly inclusive? At what point do we start considering other tools?  So, I agree, yes, Mr. Holder, Mr. President, we need to have this conversation. But let’s have all the cards on the table. 


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