Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Stupidest 21st Century Idea

Is that race does not matter in the U.S.  The election of Obama was huge, but it didn't change the daily realities.  That Stop and Frisk in NYC is racial profiling in perhaps its purest form.  That law profs on rental bikes get stopped twice in five minutes or so....  I am not saying that if you deny that race matters that it makes you a racist.  It just makes you so deeply ignorant and in denial that you pretty much lose all credibility. 

Race just simply matters in the U.S., just as other ethnic divides matter in other countries.  Slavery is the foundational sin of the US and it still has heaps of consequences to this very day.  Obama's talk last week was so simple but so powerful because he was the first President to be able to articulate the difficulties of being black in America.  And some on the right crapped all over it as being divisive.  Um, #voterfraudfraud is fucking divisive.  A President saying that folks of different races have different experiences is common sense and basic social science. 

There has been tremendous progress made, so much so that people can claim that race does not matter.  But we are not there yet, not even close to there yet.  I have no patience for anyone who says otherwise.  What to do about it?  We can argue about that.  We can disagree on whether government has a role in addressing the inequalities that the history of US racial relations has fostered.  We can disagree on how to fight crime in ways that do not discriminate against minorities.  But, dammit, we simply should not disagree that race matters.  Of course it does.

1 comment:

R. William Ayres said...

I'm often amused that when you point out that race matters, you're accused on the right of "being divisive". Talk about shooting the messenger - I suppose Galileo was prosecuted for fomenting division in the church, too...