Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Self-delusion or racism?

NPR did an informal poll to see whether people thought America is ready to have a black President of the United States. The results were interesting: a majority of whites thought the country was ready, but a majority of blacks thought it was not.

There are a number of possible ways to interpret these results:
  1. Whites are hopelessly self-deluded about their collective ability to accept leadership from a black person. They like to think that they aren't guided by prejudice, but when push comes to shove they really are.
  2. Whites are outright duplicitous about their ability to accept black leadership, because who wants to admit on National Public Radio that they doubt a black candidate could win, and risk being branded a racist by all their NPR-listening friends?
  3. Whites are generally over racism, but the blacks are not. Whites listen to Barack Obama and hear a genuine centrist candidate they like. Blacks listen to Barack Obama and all they can think is, "He's not black enough, and can I trust a black candidate who is so well liked by the whites?" MLK's vision of a truly color-blind society may not be what they really hoped for.
  4. Blacks are self-deluded or duplicitous about how much racism exists in America, or at least by how much effect it has on their lives. If a black man does win the presidency, how will they ever be able to claim victim status again?

Or, maybe, all of the above.



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