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23 March 2008

Comments

George Rebane

Dick Dickenson emailed me his response (see below) to my analysis of the Obama speech. gjr

"Sorry to be so tardy in responding to your points, which I thought were very perceptive and stimulating.

You say that Obama is implying that today's racial situation is far from tolerable but that from the numbers seeking our shores the world disagrees. My reading of him on this is that we need to keep trying to improve the prospects of our children, with which you agree later on.

Coalition of groups with fundamental differences? It's hard for me to see how they would form a coalition, which is generally created to pursue mutual goals.

Is unity a preamble for more laws and government intervention? Not as I read his arguments. He's calling for an end to the partisan gridlock we're in and which prevents us from solving major problems such as energy, health care, environment, and the post-Cold War world of terrorism, asytmmetric warfare, the emergency of China, nuclear proliferation, et.al.

Does slavery allow blacks to rationalize failure? I think one of slavery's great negative legacies is that it established the view in many, many whites going back to colonial times the idea that the African slaves were less than human--the 3/5 provision at the time of the writing of the Constitution--which is a curse that no other immigrant group has had to labor under, even blacks from the Caribbean and Latin America and certainly no white ethnic groups including Jews. I think one reason for Obama's success is that he comes across more as a white than a black--remember the question last year whether he was "black enough"?

Yes, Wright vs. Ferrarro is apples and oranges but I can understand Wright's anger about racism easier than I can understand why Ferrarro is being so stubborn and in a way self-destructive of her reputation in insisting on such an arguable point. To me it looks like more than just a "bland gaff". I'm wondering what the hell her problem is.

I'd be very interested in knowing about Janks Morton and "What Black Men Think". Is this a book, a movie?

As you know I agree that the key to success in school is in the home. I think you and other conservatives put more blame on the public schools and their teachers than they deserve. I've mentioned before that the public schools in our area work so well that we have very few private schools and the reason is that the kids get a lot of help (and pressure) at home, as you suggest. The teachers and administrators get a lot of attention, too.

I also agree that the destruction of the black family has been a catastrophe but I don't agree with your implication that it was destroyed by social programs as the Great Society. That was a problem the Great Society was supposed to address. If I knew what caused the destruction I've forgotten it.

Speaking of which, for all its imperfections I am a supporter of affirmative action. I know too many women, both black and white, in the news business--one a white cum laude graduate of Swarthmore--who have told me that they could never have gotten into their careers without it."

russ

Dick Dickenson writes:

" I know too many women, both black and white, in the news business--one a white cum laude graduate of Swarthmore--who have told me that they could never have gotten into their careers without it."

How do they know they could not have made it on their own with out government support? They were never give the chance!

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