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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Teachable moment QUESTION

I'm just not getting this notion that not talking about race will somehow fix the race issue, the position, it seems of George Will and Morgan Freeman. Just this month, I came across this Salon piece about a vendor sending the letter writer a racist cartoon. In Racialicious, The protagonist of Justine Larbalestier’s novel Liar is a young black woman with short, natural hair. So why is there a white girl with long, straight hair on the cover? A touching piece in Antiracist Parent notes it's never too late for racial unity in your family, about a mixed race couple, now married 40 years, who were rejected by his (white) family until fairly recently. Great moments in political race-baiting, which I will contend SHOULD include Bill Clinton.

Yet these "teachable moments" such as the Skip Gates arrest/President Obama's comment/the "beer summit" don't seem to teach much. Lots of arguing across each other. Most of these "moments" from Don Imus' comments to Michael Richards', seem to generate a lot of fury, but then we move to the next thing. There seems to be little common ground forged.

Or is there? I think most conservatives and most black people seem to be on the same page with regards to Henry Louis Gates, though they get there different ways.
Michele Malkin and her ilk wondered why he wasn't taught at one point to respecting the police, while black folk thought, "Is that man CRAZY? You don't shoot off your mouth to a cop; you can end up dead." in any case, Gates' Arrest Was Nothing Compared to Evan Howard's.

(Musical interlude: Pete Seeger - What Did You Learn In School?, with Words and Music by Tom Paxton
I learned that policemen are my friends.
I learned that justice never ends.
I learned that murderers die for their crimes.
Even if we make a mistake sometimes.)

So should we talk about race? HOW should we talk about race? I'm convinced there's more to be said but unclear about the methodology.


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