Friday, January 27, 2012

Fight or Flight (revised)

The Greatest and Second Greatest Generations
As a black American, I am especially mindful of a group of pioneers, the successive generations of courageous black activists who pushed the frontiers of freedom in wave after wave, beginning with their emancipation. Whereas some have argued that the "Greatest Generation" of (mostly white) Americans were the brave soldiers and sailors who fought against tyrannical enemies in World War II, I have long believed that the "Greatest Generation" of black Americans were the ex-slaves who lifted themselves and their children up from mass ignorance into mass literacy in the decades following the Civil War.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Paralysis of Racism

By the end of the 20th century, "racism" had become such a "bad word", so politically incorrect that even racists took offense at being called "racist" ... Of course this didn't mean that racism had vanished; what it did mean was that our society had made substantial progress in the hundred years between the aftermath of the Civil War and the legacy of Civil Rights. In the heat of the moment it's sometimes difficult to keep things in perspective, to suppress one's feelings that nothing has changed.

Playing the Race Card

I have long suspected that Speaker Gingrich and the other Republican candidates, except Governor Romney, lacked the cash reserves or the organizational skills to go the distance. Our presidential candidates seem to need two tries to get their election operations right, as demonstrated by the failure of Speaker Gingrich and Governor Perry to gather enough signatures to get on the ballots in the important Virginia primary.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fortunately for the rest of us, Dr. King was not just a man of great wisdom, but a man whose mastery of the written and spoken word enabled him to share his wisdom in a manner that made his sharing one of the unforgettable experiences of our lives. So on this day that we celebrate his birth, perhaps the best tribute we can render is to listen to some of what he said and read some of what he wrote, yet again: