Monday, February 23, 2009

Bridging the divide


Eric Holder, the nation's first black attorney general, said recently that the United States is a nation of cowards when it comes to race relations, noting that while blacks and whites are shoulder to shoulder in the workplace, they largely segregate themselves in their social lives. The election of Barack Obama as president was a watershed moment in our nation's history, as was Holder's selection as attorney general, but those events, significant as they are, don't "trickle down" to average Americans. I hear often that we need a "dialogue" on racial issues, that we need to discuss our differences and bridge the gaps between the races. What I don't hear is how we get that process started and how we measure progress. Some people might tell you otherwise, but there still exists a huge level of distrust between blacks and whites, and one need only look at some of the words and deeds during the past presidential campaign to recognize that racism is still far from eradicated in our society. Heck, just look at the daily poll on the O-R Web site on any given day, and the racism is barely concealed, if it is at all. Whites have to recognize their own prejudices before any progress can be made, but blacks have to do their part, as well. Black Americans should spend less time overreacting to each and every stray use of the "N word" and pay more attention to things like the ridiculously high black illegitimacy rate, which spawns other ills such as poor performance in school, drug addiction and violent crime. The powers that be can help with the crime problem by refusing to coddle people who have no intention of conforming their actions to the accepted norms of society. The justice system should not be a revolving door that continually takes in and spits out the scum that walk our streets. The recent double-fatal shooting at a West End bar is testament to that. Most whites in this country are not dyed-in-the-wool racists, and they're willing to give black people a helping hand to improve their lot, but members of the black community have to recognize and admit their own collective failings and take steps to correct them before they can expect that hand to be outstretched.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous dg said...

Nearly every statement can be twisted and taken the wrong way when discussing race. People feel it's less trouble to keep their mouths shut rather than risk confrontation.

February 24, 2009 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Right you are, dg. I'm sure some people would think that what I've written here is perhaps impolite, and you can be sure there are some folks who even consider it racist. One of the big problems in our society today is that everybody is so damned sensitive. Another area where this shows up is in relations between the sexes. A man can hardly compliment a woman on her appearance without being labeled as some sort of sexist ogre.

February 24, 2009 at 1:41 PM  

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