What would a town hall on race look like? I am pondering the question because I was recently asked to help organize and participate in a series of such discussions across the country and for the life of me I can’t understand what the purpose would be.
I am not one that believes Americans do not talk about race or that we are cowards when it comes to the issue. Americans chatter about race all the time. After football, analyzing the issue of race seems to be our national pastime. I suppose it’s to be expected as the issue of race and racial equality is woven into the fabric of our country. But we have a very particular and stubborn framework within which we discuss the issue – race equals virtue.
For example, the President’s recent Supreme Court nomination was more about race than it was jurisprudence – Justice Sotomayor’s race, her views on race and, once seated on the court, whether members of her ethnic group will now favor one political party over the other.
Republican Party leaders are staying up late at night trying to figure out how to attract more voters of a particular race. We can’t even discuss healthcare without it first passing through the racial sieve. The president has introduced the specter of “discrimination” to sell his plan to nationalize healthcare and new Left intellectuals are now claiming that socialism is new code for the N-word. [Just so we are clear: socialism is code for socialism. The attempt to link opposition to policies perceived to be socialist (and in many instances they are in fact) to the scourge of racial hatred is despicable racial exploitation for the purposes of political gain. But I digress.]
I am told perhaps once a week by some angry Black or new liberal white reader that Black people are unwanted in America and that my respect for the founding principles (and opposition to the Democratic Party) is evidence of my racial self hatred.