I wrote a comment on a post on Phil Windley's blog earlier today which I ended saying perhaps we should all just disclaim up front that we're racists, and then go ahead and say what we have to say about race.
It should save a lot of time, and get a lot of formerly private and hush-hush stuff out in the open.
Ironically, it's possible because we got, through Rev Wright's at-first shocking sermons out and in the discussion. So much for black people not being racists. He could attend our nation's 12-step meeting and introduce himself as I did.
Hello, my name is Jeremiah Wright and I'm a racist.
In his speech on Tuesday morning, Obama said the same thing.
It's like what Jerry said about his life.
It's even worse than it appears.
Fact, if you've lived in the United States as long as I have, 52 years, you have opinions about race, and to some that makes you a racist. The problem -- only our closest friends and family know our opinions about race. There may be blacks who first heard that there is white resentment from Geraldine Ferraro, or from Barack Obama. But it's no secret to me.
We may eventually get rid of racism, but it isn't going to happen by keeping it hidden.
On Tuesday before Obama's speech I saw a panel on race, on CNN, moderated by a black newsman, with two blacks as panelists. No whites. That's the old style pre-Obama panel on race. The new modern way is to balance it, and let whites speak about race too. Let us make generalizations about blacks and whites the way blacks always have. For a change, let the blacks listen, and appreciate that we have opinions too, show us that you get that we're not silly, naive, trivial.
In all my years, I've only heard two images of whites from blacks. 1. The man. We control everything. We're privileged. The oppressor. We coordinate to keep blacks out, to keep blacks down. 2. The silly do-good liberal. We look for approval. We want to be hip. But we're naive and shallow. There is no third view of whites in black folklore. And you wonder why we never connect.
Right now I'm not trying to be your friend. I never was your oppressor. I do believe in the fierce urgency of now, so what I want is to work together to get us some good government. I certainly don't mind, if along the way, the lot of black people improves. In fact I like that. And it doesn't make me silly or naive. I argue, and I think Obama agrees, that makes me an American, which I most certainly am.
Once we feel heard, then we might be better able to listen to what you have to say. Just a thought.
One more thing before I sit down. By disclaiming my racism, you can't get me by calling me a racist. Just admitting that one simple and obvious fact makes it possible for the air to start to clear on this formerly taboo subject.
I'll sit down now, having said my piece, for now.