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Archive for the ‘whiteness’ Category

OK, so a long election cycle is over. I wondered if the chattering class – a class to which I aspire – would have much left to say. I mean, seriously, so much has been said already. I’m of course wrong. I should have known that the big and apparently only question would be raised: will this election lead people to say that racism is over?

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Basketball versus bowling. Who knew it had such implications? I mean, seriously, when is the last time we talked about the Dream Team in the Professional Bowlers Association? Or even just saw bowling on television at a time other than 3pm on a Sunday? Turns out, this might be an important signifier in electoral rhetoric. How?

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Reprinted from The Public Humanist. It is always a nice thing to see Socrates made contemporary. Or at least have something to say about about contemporary things, so I’m just so pleased to see Robert Meagher write this piece about fear and hope. The range – and so the possibilities – of human emotion is one of those perennial philosophical issues. And too much evidence points to the constant presence of fear, too little presence of hope. I find a small thread of both hope and fear in the same place these days: race and all those companion emotions.

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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…)

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It has been awhile, but having now finished a big project, I’m back to regular blogging. And what better topic for getting back into it than the current election stuff. I do have a lot to say. In particular, about this strange ascension of Hillary Clinton and the genuinely baffling coverage of the “race.” OK, that’s a cheap pun, but I had to. I’ll pass over the saucier stuff on, say, Vincent Foster, whose case would send lefties over the edge (rightly) if the name had been Bush or Cheney, not Clinton. There are other things to discuss. (more…)

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I’ve debated whether or not to blog on Columbus Day. Not “on” this particular day – though a case can be made for a day of silence today – but “about” this day, this figure, this holiday. I’d decided not. I didn’t want to be too trite or repetitive, just rehearsing now familiar stuff about Columbus as murderer and vanguard of what became a bloody, cruel rot in the heart of European “civilization.” (more…)

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This is for Quanita.

I like coincidences. A lot. Not really because they say something about how fate would have it (not my thing), but instead because coincidences so often instruct us just by chance. That’s why I found two stories – one so sad and serious, the other so sad and satirical – on Iraq compelling. And just today I came across two stories about changing neighborhoods. One is a musing on a lost sense of home in Washington, D.C., the other is about activist work against new residents.

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