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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Race Relations

Following the Obama presidential election victory, newspaper nitwits and news channel "pundits" jumped to ask the ridiculously stupid question, "Is racism dead?"... As if white America had been waiting for the right opportunity to heave a collective sigh of relief. Well, it isn't. Duh.

But it might be time for a less timid discussion of race. It might be time to stop turning the easy targets from Jimmy Snyder to Don Imus into sacrificial lambs to appease our guilt about the history of racism and engage in the subject with genuine interest and openness. Overtly racist curiosities like this are an undeniable component of our cultural blooper reel of history. But that's a far cry from someone losing their job because they said that African Americans were genetically gifted athletes. I don't think anyone benefits from overreactions like that.

My new favorite jerk, Steve Sailer, has written extensively on race in America. He writes for publications like the National Post and is a confessed conservative. But he writes better than Stave It Off whipping boy George Will and comes off like less of an ass. He's the sort of guy that walks a thin line. Before Obama was elected, I think I would have found his work more objectionable. Since there are plenty of racist pricks blogging their unreadable hatespeech, I immediately write off anyone that suggests America needs to limit immigration. Interestingly, I found myself willing to keep reading this time. I guess I was more willing to give him a chance (because I feel less defensive these days?)... and found that he had some interesting things to say.

If you're shopping for a new conservative know-it-all to bash, I encourage readers to engage his works in these three easy pieces: an article about how racial diversity might make for superior breeding, a straw-man assault on the naive critics of miscegenation, and finally an interesting article on who is really hurt by interracial coupling.

I was expecting to find his articles slanted and pathetic, but instead found myself fascinated at how objective he was about things. He's like one of those pesky libertarians who I half agree with and find it difficult to argue against. It's evident that he isn't willing to go post-modern on how he perceives some social constructs like gender roles, but he still comes to some pretty interesting conclusions... some of which might surprise you.

PS For an interesting overview of Sailer's definition of race, check out this article.



At 4/28/2009 10:40:00 PM, Blogger lowcoolant said...

Why exactly were you crying during Obama's victory speech?

Was it the peppermint-striped tie?

At 4/30/2009 11:39:00 AM, Blogger John said...

I'm not sure how to answer your question... but I was not crying because I happily believed racism was dead in America.

I guess it had more to do with my intense relief that America was willing to elect an intellectual and a minority to the highest office in the land... and my surge of hope that we would actually work to repair the incredible damage that the previous administration had wrought. And maybe even start to repair the attack on civil liberties and progressive reforms that goes all the way back to Reagan.


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