Sunday, February 22, 2009

The End of [Black] History

Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. Though race related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race. It is an issue we have never been at ease with and given our nation's history this is in some ways understandable. And yet, if we are to make progress in this area we must feel comfortable enough with one another, and tolerant enough of each other, to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us.
And so strode Eric Holder, America's first black Attorney General, to the head of the column of "mau-mauing" sacks of excrement that so populate the modern civil rights (or more correctly, "civil wrongs") movement. It is beyond ironic that Holder chose this time, a moment in which - black "acceptability" for lack of a better word - within American society is at its zenith (as most perfectly evidenced by the otherwise improbable sequence of events that allowed for his nomination), to press the case that Americans are cowards vis-a-vis race.

If, as Holder avers, there are certain subjects related to race that are "off limits,
and that to explore them risks, at best embarrassment, and, at worst, the questioning of one's character,"
one must ask how such became the case, for whites surely did not always have such proscriptions. The primrose path that led us to our current muteness passes inexorably through the garden of liberal political correctness. As every non-black knows instinctively, to mention, let alone raise an honest question about out-of-wedlock birth rates and fatherless homes among African Americans, the epidemic of violence among black youth, skyrocketing rates of HIV and other STDs or the nihilism so evident in much of black culture is indeed to risk "the questioning of one's character."

But again, why is this so? If Holder wants "frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us," a good start would be for everyone to acknowledge that there are problems not to be addressed by yet another cycle of jawboning. Nevertheless, Holder insists that we yammer away, or more precisely, that blacks do the yammering. For the race "discussion" that Holder pretends to encourage is in fact a one-sided rant, a diatribe designed to convey indignation for the purpose of securing the power of racial innocence. Non-blacks know this all too well; rather than needing a "basic understanding of one another," whites evidently understand all that they need to know about relations with blacks. They go to any expedient to avoid the "racist" label so that they are then free to live their lives thinking little else about the subject.

Just as important, if Holder's race conversation is worth having at all, why should it be during Black History Month as he proposes? If Hispanics are already the largest minority and the greatest source of our ethnic diversity, why shouldn't we bypass the stale and stilted white-black dynamic altogether that we might discuss issues of race arising between North, Central and South America? That answer is self-evident: for liberals, the ever-shrinking social divide between white and black is to be fetishised. It is the bloody shirt that progressives wave with abandon to suggest that America's "racial present" and future will be as tainted as its past without our acceding to their demands.

But as you wish, Mr. Holder. If you insist, I will concede that we are a indeed a nation of cowards on the matter of race. We show our yellow streak in not stating plainly, for example, that the only racists as it pertains to the New York Post's chimp cartoon are those who are quick to make the association between the country's Chief Executive - who does not himself write legislation - and the primate in question, which by all indications could have very well written the recently passed stimulus bill.

Even as I give Holder and his ilk credit for steadfastness, he and I will both readily acknowledge that facts are also stubborn things. In his current capacity, Mr. Holder may come to share my fascination with FBI crime statistics. However the 2007 data are sliced, whether one looks at arrests for violent crimes in general, by cities versus suburban areas, or by metropolitan counties versus non-metropolitan counties, African Americans are overrepresented relative to both their percentage of the population and to their percentage of arrests in murder and non-negligent manslaughter.

And, thanks to the auspices of Holder's Justice Department, America's race cowards on the Left will need to confess that the topic most worthy of discussion - present-day threats to black life - come not from whites who fall silent on race, but from other blacks. Of the 3,221 murders of African Americans reported to the FBI for 2007, over 90 percent (2,905) were committed by a black assailant. I will understand if Mr. Holder did not get to peruse the latest crime data prior to making his speech last week; I'm sure he has been preoccupied with figuring out which foreign terrorist organization should next be pardoned. At some point however, he will need to explain to all of us race chickenshits how another round of black umbrage and white acquiescence will save the life of another black child.

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