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Showing posts from July, 2010

The Conversation

What Ta-Nehisi Coates said...

Expecting an American conversation on race in this country, is like expecting financial advice from someone who prefers to not check their bank balance. It's not that the answers, themselves, are pre-ordained, its that we are more interested in answers than questions, in verdicts than evidence...

It's not so much that we don't know--it's that we aspire to not know. The ignorance of the African-American thread in the broader American quilt--the essential nature of that thread--is willful, and the greatest evidence that the spirit of white supremacy walks with us. There was a lot of self-congratulation around the justice done on Shirley Sherrod. It's premature. The thing will happen again. Race isn't a "distraction" from Obama's agenda--it's the compromised, unsure ground upon which this country walks everyday. It is the monster, and it will not be evaded writing Shirley Sherrod off to the machinations of the 24-hour…

How do you change your mind?

The assumption in that question is that we change our minds. I would certainly hope that's true. After all, its hard to imagine thinking of ourselves as progressives if we can't "progress" in our thinking. But it seems to me that this is a question we can only answer for ourselves. I would imagine that the process is unique to the individual.

But in a world of political dialogue - I think this is an important thing to know about both ourselves and those with whom we are in dialogue. So here's how I would answer the question.

First of all...some background. I was raised mostly in East Texas in a family and community of rightwing christian fundamentalists. As a child, I didn't rebel...just accepted all I was taught. With the benefit of hindsight however, I see that I was an observer. I spent most of my childhood and adolescence staying out of the fray and watching from the sidelines. That turns out to have been the first step in changing my mind...paying attent…