Wednesday, August 06, 2008


It is hard to get very excited about the race for the presidency living in Illinois. Obama is going to win Illinois. By a whole bunch. We probably won't even really get campaign commercials. As was true in primary season, it'll be like there's no campaign being run.

However, we are all going to have three months of "insight" about race and politics before we vote again. Sadly, as of August 6, 2008 it looks like we are already scraping the bottom of the barrel of insight. Today's Christian Science Monitor ran an op-ed piece entitled "Could Obama's Rise Signal the End of Black Victimology?" The author, a professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts, makes a bunch of points about different ways to address the legacy of slavery in the United States. Of course, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois had the same conversations, so that part is not very interesting. The money paragraph?
In his book, "Two Wands, One Nation," former governor of Colorado Richard Lamm poses a novel way to think about race and progress: "Let me offer you, metaphorically, two magic wands that have sweeping powers to change society. With one wand you could wipe out all racism and discrimination from the hearts and minds of white America. The other wand you could wave across the ghettos and barrios of America and infuse the inhabitants with Japanese or Jewish values, respect for learning and ambition."
Ah yes. There is nothing more novel than the "model minority" (and here) way of viewing race in America. We all sure like them Jews. They're good at book learnin'. Shame what they done to Jesus, though. Them Japanese are real ambitious, and they can copy any gizmo you give 'em! Why losing World War II was the best thing that ever happened to 'em!

Three more months of this sort of insight. I may stop reading everything except Get Fuzzy by the time this is over.


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