I’m really not enjoying the strange journey of race in the presidential election thing. I doubt many people are, save for the occasional Karl Rove, for whom it is a fabulous tactic – if you’re creative. I must admit to being surprised, though, to see the issue of reparations come up. It’s a nuanced and compelling issue, if one has the time to examine all of the folds. It’s about memory, state history, back wages, social justice, economics, the nature of representation, and so on. But that’s too much to ask. Turns out, sometimes a non-reparation actually is one.
Archive for the ‘forgiveness’ Category
Posted in African-Americans, apology, Barack Obama, election 2008, forgiveness, injustice, justice, memory, poverty, racial representation, racism, reparations, slavery apology on August 2, 2008| 1 Comment »
Posted in "A More Perfect Union", African-Americans, apology, Barack Obama, colorblind racism, colorblindness, confession, forgiveness, injustice, justice, memory, racial representation, racism, whiteness on March 19, 2008| 6 Comments »
I’ll add to the huge number of editorials and blogs on Obama’s “big speech on race.” I read the transcript and watched a bit of it, but not without some regret that it had come to this moment. Why did Obama have to give this sort of speech? Who provoked it and why? But it was provoked. No going back from that. And he gave what, to my mind, was a solid and actually quite brave account of his relation to all sorts of pain. (more…)
Posted in African-Americans, capitalism, colorblind racism, forgiveness, ideology, individualism, injustice, justice, Martin Luther King, memorials, memory, multicultural, racial representation, racism, spectacle, the sixties on August 25, 2007| 3 Comments »
It had to happen. The problem of outsourcing is very real for the United States, and puts us all in such a precarious political and social space. Politically, outsourcing is bad for us because it chooses cheaper labor at the expense of our national interest in reasonable (full?) employment for our fellow citizens. Socially, outsourcing is good for the consumer self, providing cheap goods and services for a lot of us. I’ll skip the familiar reflection on how this is capitalism’s endgame, etc., and just underscore the fact that all of it is just so precarious. We’re off-balance when balance might really help. Outsourcing. Sigh.
Yet again, we are treated to the distracting and delicious hypocrisy of the Right’s attack dogs. Yes, it again turns out that those self-appointed to watch over our morality have been doing the naughty stuff behind closed doors. Ted Haggard was an especially tortured case, and I felt conflicted about pouncing on his hypocrisy. But no such hesitation with David Vitter, conservative kook and prostitute lover from Louisiana. What more is there to say, really, than that Vitter is a big fake and pervert (defined with his terms alone)? (more…)
What curious things we do with history, no? On the one hand, the United States (by no means an exception, here) is so much a culture of forgetting. We’d rather imagine the pain of the past to be from another world entirely (it’s not) than engage in a difficult conversation. On the other hand, there is stuff like this: the (re-) sailing of the Amistad, retracing the old slave trade route. That seems like a desire to remember. How couldn’t that (re-) sailing remember? Forgetfulness and the desire to remember. Both typical and unexpected. At the same time. (more…)
I posted a week or so back on the two Flight 93 memorials – one actual, one in plan – in Shanksville, PA. In remembering so much sadness in one site, everything is at stake. This is only more urgent when we consider that this is our memorial, a national site of memory. And so The Weekly Standard’s headline was right to propose this statement, which is then the question answered by the article: “The Memorials We Deserve.” (more…)
So, Alabama has joined Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia in offering official state apologies for slavery. Very interesting. It is easy to be snarky about these sorts of gestures or read in them cynical aims, etc., but I think apology deserves a serious bit of consideration. Apology is no small thing. The fact that no Republican supported this apology reminds us that there is real symbolic something to public apology. More directly, as we know from our personal lives, a sincere apology can transform a friendship or love relationship by reckoning with a hurtful past event or events. How this translates into the political realm, however, is where things get even more complicated. (more…)