I was about to refer to the recent explosion of media talk about race. Then I got distracted by the very logical absurdity: an 'explosion' presumes a preceding relative silence. If there's been any doubt about the depth, breadth and increasing volume of race talk going on, do check out the latest, perhaps state of the art, digital culture channel for plugging into it.
It's the Sunday Soapbox on NPR. I won't bore with the details, some of which are a little confusing, anyway. But they seem to have a month-long project delving into race and the current politics that combines in-depth (or at least long, even for NPR) reporting, and a built in multimedia blogging system that anyone can join. I did, and if you're interested in contributing or just peeping you can get started here.
That said, while cruising this new wealth of race talk, on NPR and a few other places, I have been struck by two things. One is the frankness, however depressing, of white people who are mighty cynical about "blacks-and-whites-together" happening anytime soon.
The other was the number of whites writing that they despair because they, and/or their children, are frequent victims of black racial animosity and/or violence.
That's the take of one Greg Harden of Rochester, NY in this 'conversation' with NPR's Liane Hansen and Trish Callahan, a bi-racial woman from Portland, Me.
A blogger on the aforementioned NPR blogging system says The Truth About Race is that the blacks who dominate the inner city where his (presumably) white ex-wife and child live are focused on committing wanton acts of vandalism and beating up his boy. He says these blacks are strangely embittered about their white presence in the (again, presumably) gentrifying neighborhood, angry "over something that happened over 100 years ago...that they don't even understand."
Black people no longer have a leg to stand on as far as equality...the next president of the United States will most likely be a black man. The equality thing just doesn't hold water anymore.
Thirdly, as one who works in Harlem with a good view of the gentrification struggle taking place, there's this unusually candid piece ,by yet another white victim, about race, romance and, yes, violence.
The lead graf tells almost, but not quite all you might need to know:
A thug named Mykul—all 6-foot-5-inches and 250 pounds of him—knocked
me, a 5-foot-2, 120-pound “grammy” to three, down to the concrete. I
was in front of St. Nick’s Pub, at 10:30 on a Monday night this past
May, when he stole my handbag, a beautiful green snakeskin bag and all
its contents, including more cash than I’d carried in Harlem—ever.
People I knew from the pub stood and watched.
Kinda pulls you in, huh?
Of course there's nothing scientific about this sampling. But it does say something when so many pieces of this type seem to jump to the top of my manual and automatic filtering queues. What it says is that the starting point in today's race dialog ---or rather serial monologues-- is a struggle to claim victim-hood. Or at least to disclaim the 'other's' victim-hood.
It's hard to say where all this will lead, but the honesty, at least, is promising. God only knows how race forces all participants into such depths of their own particularities that no light gets in. He also knows that only His love can get people out of their holes. I wish those frequent associations between Barack Obama and the Second Coming had more truth in them, because he's gonna need every bit of divine Grace and discernment to meet all the expectations heaped on him about race and reconciliation.
A thug named Mykul—all 6-foot-5-inches and 250 pounds of him—knocked me, a 5-foot-2, 120-pound “grammy” to three, down to the concrete. I was in front of St. Nick’s Pub, at 10:30 on a Monday night this past May, when he stole my handbag, a beautiful green snakeskin bag and all its contents, including more cash than I’d carried in Harlem—ever. People I knew from the pub stood and watched.