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27 May 2008


James Currier

As someone who was at Princeton in 1985, I can tell you that the language used in her thesis was very common at the time for nearly all groups who were not white males, so don't judge her that harshly. Like the anger and desructiveness that flowed from the feminist movement when women found their voice in the 70's, the same thing happened for all groups that were non-white males during the emergence of the Politically Correct movement in the 1980's. Princeton was a hot bed for such activity in the 80s, as the students were encouraged by the professors to stretch their verbal wings. It was painful to be there during that time if you were white male, for sure, but I've had 20 years to heal, and I bet Michelle has as well. Vitrol like terminally racist doesn't shed a lot of light on the subject and continues the cycle of hate, maybe even amplifying it.

Another way I could have responded to your comments about her would have been equally true, but would perpetuate the cycle of creating teams of us and them and sowing anger and distrust between them, thusly: "That's what you guys get for electing and continuing to support Bush, who has betrayed nearly every value many of us hold as Americans including fiscal responsibility. This will now be payback, and you know what? It's going to suck in whole new ways we can't imagine yet. But don't you dare blame it on ignorance of everyone else. Blame it mostly on the ignorance of all of you who voted for Bush, which will now force us too far back the other way." :-)

George Rebane

Thanks for the insight and thoughtful comments James. I have come to use 'terminally xyz' in the sense that the person in that condition is not likely to change their belief or support for xyz when assaulted by reason. So I, and many others, today would assess MichelleO to be 'terminally racist'. But not to worry, the accuracy of this assessment will soon be known to all of us when she responds to the early outing of her thesis. If she uses the measured tones of your apology for her behavior during her Princeton days, then we can all breathe a sigh of relief that she, as you, have used the ensuing years to heal. And I will be among the first to publicly retract my 'terminally racist' appellation. Until then I and many others will take her at her word, both from the past and present.

Re Bush. I can't undo my votes for Bush. Given what I knew then and the available alternatives, I must confess that I would do it over again. Perhaps wiser heads than mine saw a future that would have avoided the post-invasion mistakes Bush has made and resulted in a better mid-east today. That is not to say that someone (you?) could not sit me down and make clear my mistakes. In this sense, I hope that I am never labeled a terminal Bushie.

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