Joan Walsh at Salon
Tommy Christopher at The Daily Banter
Yastreblyansky at No More Mister Nice Blog
Ed Kilgore at The Washington Monthly and Talking Points Memo
I think that's a good thing - whether I agree with all of them on everything they've written or not. That's because I think that a few years ago Attorney General Eric Holder nailed it. We are a nation of cowards when it comes to talking about race.
Sure, we regularly hear charges of "racism" thrown into discussions and the defensiveness that most often produces. That kind of exchange is not missing from our dialogue. What we don't do is talk about what racism means or how it affects our politics. But that's exactly the conversation Chait has ignited.
The reason a lot of white liberals avoid this subject was expressed years ago by Glenn Greenwald.
...part of the reason people intently run away from discussions of race...is because it is too easy to unwittingly run afoul of various unwritten speech rules, thereby triggering accusations of bigotry.Nezua set him straight on that one.
People avoid talking about race because they are scared of exposing their thoughts and views on race...They are not afraid of "unwritten speech rules." They are afraid that what they really think and feel will cause them to be ridiculed or ostracized in public, or that they may see a part of themselves they have to feel bad about. So they keep the potential to themselves.The truth is - when white people talk about race, we're pretty much destined to say stupid racist stuff. And people are going to call us on that. But the only way to change ourselves is to bring our thoughts out into the open, get called on it...and learn something!
But if we keep the focus on Speech Rules, we miss the opportunity to change ourselves.