My article for In These Times about the Race Chasm has generated a lot of discussion and feedback about race in America -- which I'm thrilled about. Race and class are the two issues that the Establishment is least interested in discussing -- despite their prominence in our politics. And so if an article I write generates some ferment, that's a good thing -- especially if it can also promote the work of a great progressive magazine like In These Times. That's exactly what happened this weekend when the article got some pretty major media coverage.
CNN, for instance, had me on to discuss the Race Chasm on its Newsroom program. You can watch it here:
The Denver Post ran an adapted version of the original Race Chasm article on the front page of its Sunday Perspective section. You can read it here. Similarly, The Portland Oregonian -- in advance of the state's upcoming primary -- ran an adapted version of the Race Chasm on its Sunday op-ed page. You can read it here.
The key part of my Post/Oregonian piece was the conclusion:
Summing up the right's "don't-ask-don't-tell" attitude when it comes to bigotry, New York Times conservative columnist Bill Kristol said, "The last thing we need now is a heated national conversation about race." From a cushy office in Washington, D.C. -- one of the most segregated cities in America -- it must be easy for well-heeled white commentators like Kristol to tell the rest of us that race should be ignored. But as the Race Chasm shows, now is precisely the time we need a national conversation about the divisions that still so clearly afflict our country.
Yes, as I said to begin this post, the conservative Establishment really doesn't want to talk about issues like race or class -- to the point where that Establishment's spokespeople take to the pages of the New York Times to demand silence. But these are debates that must not be silenced if we are to overcome these divides in the future.