Saturday, February 21, 2009

Frank conversation

Eric Holder wants us all to have a frank conversation about "race". But the beginning of that frank conversation would explain that most European-Americans have virtually no racial prejudice. They genuinely appreciate Africans, they respect their intelligence, admire their cultures, and appreciate their sense of family. No, their antipathy is is much more deeply rooted than something as superficial as racial prejudice -- they are irritated by African-American culture, and those feelings are vindicated when people like Bill Cosby express the same feelings, and doubly confirmed when their trusted African friends explain that they do not particularly enjoy African-American culture.

But when African-Americans process cultural biases as racial prejudice -- and respond with rage rather than self-examination or dismissal* -- a frank conversation would probably help them work through their issues. But remember, Holder said that we are a "nation of cowards" -- not that white people were cowards -- so maybe he was trying to initiate this helpful conversation in a particularly hamhanded way?

(* Just as an Indian might say, "those stupid Europeans make fun of us for wiping our butts with our hands, but we know they can never get truly clean with their wasteful toilet paper, and they are all walking around with shit on their asses".)

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