Does anyone remember when the conventional wisdom, as presented by the MSM, concerning the nomination of an African-American for president, his subsequent election, and his inauguration, was that they were conclusive evidence that we had “moved beyond” issues of race in this country? Ah yes, at last – after 140-plus years! -- we were “colorblind”! Race “no longer mattered”. Anyone could grow up to become president, regardless of race (since we've already done ethnicity, and gender and sexual orientation are still waiting in the wings). Yep, those were good times all right – an era of self-congratulation on the part of American society. It lasted, oh... a little over a year, if you date it from the 2008 New Hampshire primary.
But it's over, baby! Yeah – all over. Now the Attorney General, Eric Holder, announces that Americans need to talk _more_ about race than they already do – which makes one wonder when they'll have time to eat or sleep. America is the most race-obsessed nation on earth, and I imagine a lot of that is what I'll call “karmic” -- that even if there are no longer living former slaves or former slave owners, there is still a kind of “original sin” stalking the land by which blacks are supposed to feel like victims and whites are supposed to feel guilty. Think “Germans and Jews”, “Japanese and Chinese”, “Turks and Armenians”, "Hutus and Tutsis", “Cambodians and Cambodians” -- you get the picture. In this age of collective guilt – which does, arguably, have some Biblical basis – it's never enough that the original perpetrators or their victims are long gone – their victimhood and guilt has to be ascribed to their descendants for countless generations. This is because where human memory fades, cultural memory lives on, and in our society and many others cultural memory is kept on the front burner, and piping hot, by the media, as well as by politicians, propagandists, and demagogues of all sorts. It's no longer just a matter of some hoary old grandfather sitting in front of the fire in a thatch-roofed hut on a cold night instructing his grandchildren, in a quavering voice, to “never forget”. Now it is blasted, full-volume, as from trumpets, 24-7, and there is no escape. Most ethnic and racial groups these days spend most of their waking hours “not forgetting” past offenses, in fact – and the impact on overall productivity, not to mention peace of mind, can scarcely be imagined. And our elected officials are no less guilty. As you will recall, a certain recent president, one Bill Clinton, devoted most of his time when traveling on diplomatic missions to apologizing – to anyone and everyone – for the sins of America, which were great and many, in his opinion. George Bush at least had the merit of having no interest in out-apologizing Clinton. And Obama, for his part, has spoken not so much about past offenses as of “moving on”.
Which brings us back to Eric Holder, “the nation's first black attorney general” -- although, like so many of the “black” elite, he could probably pass for white in Iceland. His contention – delivered to his own captive DOJ employees (with no “Q and A session" afterwards, I'll wager) – is that the United States is “a nation of cowards” on matters of race. How so? It's because “most Americans avoid candid discussions of racial issues” and they have “an ingrained inhibition against talking about race.” Yeah, well... there is a reason for this. Every time a white person gets candid about race, he's accused of being a “racist” and engaging in “hate speech”. This is not good for job prospects, for one thing – especially, I imagine, jobs at DOJ. I don't see any blacks out there being non-candid about race, do you? It seems to me that they're _very_ candid, and as often as possible. So Holder's statement is already – dare I say it? -- “discriminatory” if not actually “racist”.
But actually, I have to qualify that last statement. Racial "candor" on the part of blacks has to be limited to what has been called the "meme". Anything above and beyond that gets you drummed out of the black race, as has happend with Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Justice Thomas, et al.
At any rate, Holder is echoing what Obama was saying throughout the campaign – but Obama's terms were slightly more conciliatory. Obama spoke of “a racial stalemate” -- well, again, who's fault is that? We've had the Civil Rights Act, “equal opportunity”, affirmative action, forced integration, forced busing, racial quotas, Head Start, programs and entitlements of all kinds... all of which contributed, for good or ill, to where we are today. If we have failed to “move on” in the racial area, I honestly don't think that's the fault of the “white establishment”. I don't think there has been another society in history whose majority group has done so much for its most prominent minority group. So lack of effort -- even sincere, non-hypocritical effort -- is not the problem.
Obama also “bemoaned” the “chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.” I don't think there's any “misunderstanding” at all! I think the races understand each other quite clearly. Whites (especially white liberals) have become adept at placating, bribing, co-opting, and conning blacks into permanent second class citizenship and dependency, and blacks have become adept at leveraging “white guilt” (again, especially that of liberals) and attempting to change attitudes through legislation. This is not “misunderstanding”. People only use that term when they mean “we don't yet have everything we want” -- the way a teenager will accuse his or her parents of “misunderstanding” them when, in fact, the exact opposite is the case – the parents understand all too well, and are doing everything in their power to keep things from getting worse.
But let's continue to delve into what appears to be Holder's unresolved obsession. “The workplace is largely integrated [except for the NBA, of course] but Americans still self-segregate on the weekends and in their private lives.” And, “Americans in their free time are still segregated inside... race-protected cocoons.” Well, whoop-de-freakin-do! How many focus groups did it take for him to come up with _this_ stunning bit of insight? People tend to “self-segregate”. In the old days one might have said that people prefer to associate with their own kind. This is perfectly understandable -- perfectly "Darwinian" in fact, and no good liberal could object to that! No one accuses Italians of being racists because they'd rather associate with Italians than with Germans, for instance. And in fact, no one accuses _blacks_ of racism even though the record, for the last 40-odd years, shows far more self-segregation among blacks than among whites. How many thousand organizations are there that have “Black” as part of their name? Virtually every profession and trade has an exclusively black subdivision – entirely voluntary, and _not_ based on having been excluded by whites. They exist to “protect black interests” and to “offer the black perspective”, and so on. Just about the only case I can think of where this has not happened is in mathematics. How would “black mathematics” differ from “white mathematics”, I wonder? But in all other cases, you will find a black subgroup, and frequently a militant one.
Contrast this with the situation when it comes to “white” interests. To begin with, there is no such thing, by definition, as “white interests”, or a white “cause”, or white “advocacy” in this country. Why would they need it, since they are, allegedly, the super-dominant, overbearing, tyrannical race that crushes all the less-fortunate, DNA-wise, under foot? The only organizations that have “White” as part of their name are those white supremacist outfits up in places like Idaho, where no one with a three-digit IQ is allowed in. And do you see any “white” journals, magazines, newspapers, TV stations, TV networks, radio stations, stores, and so on? Are there any government agencies, programs, or entitlements devoted exclusively to whites? (Not since the “War on Poverty” started in Appalachia under JFK – unless you include all the pork Robert Byrd brings home to West Virginia on weekends).
Another facet of self-segregation by blacks is in the perpetuation of the “victim culture” by con artists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton... and the perpetuation of black separatism by the likes of Louis Farrakhan (now that the Black Panthers are all either dead or in jail). Then we have phenomena like black dormitories in colleges and universities, with black dining halls, black activity groups, black publications... do you think any of these would be tolerated if the common element were “whiteness”? Or, how about a “White Studies Department” at the state university? Oh yeah, that'll go over real big. But the biggest pillar of black self-segregation in this society has to be attitudinal – the notion of victimhood, of entitlement, of payback, of constantly having to get over on “the man”. This is not true of all of black culture, much of which is, arguably, apolitical and “stand-alone” -- but when it comes to “black politics”, it is almost entirely about envy, resentment, having to “catch up”, get even, and ultimately get ahead, in order to balance out past disadvantages. Which means, it's all about black victimhood and white guilt, and no, we have not “moved on” from any of it – not one inch. This is why, with a perfectly straight face, Holder can start preaching about Americans' “cowardice” when it comes to race – because, in truth, there is no criterion by which one could ever say, “enough”. The issue will never be behind us, as long as there is one dusty tome that can remind us of the everlasting offenses of slavery and racism.
So what does Holder propose? And, is it any of his damn business how I spend my weekends and who I associate with in my private life? Well, apparently it is. So are we going to see forced integration of private clubs? Of private homes? Is it going to be like post-revolutionary Russia, where each formerly middle-class family had to turn over most of their home to the workers and peasants, and keep only one room for themselves? I mean, what is he talking about here? What is the proposed cure? How can the black race be made whole? By being invited to every picnic and backyard barbeque? By being bused out of the inner cities to suburban kiddie soccer games on weekends? (Would they even be interested? I doubt it very much. The inner city is far more dynamic and interesting on weekends -- and any other time of the week -- than any suburb I've ever seen.) Am I going to have to throw a “kegger” for my black neighbors? (It might be interesting – but I'd insist on reciprocation.) Holder talks the talk – but someone else is going to have to walk the walk. And who will it be? Remember, he is attorney general! When the attorney general starts talking about “the way things ought to be”, you're only about one bill or regulation away from “the way things _will_ be” -- whether you like it or not. And I don't believe for a moment that this is only loose talk; Holder is a cool, calculating dude. He means it! (And will all the whites who voted for Obama be happy with the outcome? We'll never know, will we?)
So – in a society where race is the paramount political, social, economic, and cultural issue, and where every transaction among its citizens is – um – colored by the racial issue, we're somehow derelict in our duty by not talking more about it. Is the man insane? No, actually, he's a quite astute politician and a veteran of the most politically-aggressive, and oppressive, administration in American history. He knows what he wants, and he knows how to get it; this little speech of his to a captive audience unable to talk back is only the first shot. But I imagine it will be, let's say, consciously ignored by all of our courageous white politicians, because, after all, any show of skepticism or argument would be immediately styled as “racism”. So we see the beginning of a new debate which follows the same old rules, i.e. only one side is allowed to speak. And they call this “change”?
I suppose we can be thankful for one thing, at least. We now have an attorney general who is, quite consciously and intentionally, calling down all the fury of the black race onto the heads of the white race. Call it reckless -- I call it calculating. What happens over the next few years might just serve to settle the issue once and for all. As it is, we've been treated to an endless parade of basically guilt-ridden, emasculated white politicians who mumble “equal opportunity” language in order to placate the restless masses. Now we have a _member_ of the restless masses calling everyone else “cowards”. As Lenin pointed out, many times things have to get worse before they can get better. Who knows, this might be a way out of the dilemma America has found itself in for so long – but at what price?
And, BTW, if Obama has any interest in getting re-elected in 2012, does he shut this guy up? Did Clinton shut Joycelyn Elders up? Yeah -- but it took a while.