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.
Labels: Life in General