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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Scrimshaw Edition (74 comments)

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  •  Grandin's article is great. (41+ / 0-)

    It's an excellent meditation on politics in our not-so-post-racial America.  

    And, man, is his closing paragraph a killer:

    Over 60 years ago, Ralph Ellison began “Invisible Man” with an epigraph drawn from “Benito Cereno.” It’s a pleading question that Delano asks Cereno after the revolt is put down and Babo is executed: “You are saved: what has cast such a shadow upon you?” Though Ellison purposefully omitted it from his epigraph, in today’s America it is still worth recalling Cereno’s answer: “The Negro.”

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 11:46:40 PM PST

    •  Indeed, but I think the key in that piece is a (15+ / 0-)

      very good summary of what must have gone on in the heads of a number of acquaintances and former colleagues. A few of the people that by word and action over thirty years appeared comfortable with integration, even supportive, and worked closely with African Americans in seeming comfort suddenly became involved in those Forward, Forward e-mails and made derogatory comments after Obama's election. A subset of those had earlier gone around the bend after 9/11, changing from fairly worldly to freakish jingoism.

      I've long contrasted those bizarre reactions with those of the few colleagues remaining (thinning gets intense in our later years) with whom I correspond. Among us 9/11 was not a shocking surprise other than a sense that the culprits succeeded probably beyond their wildest dreams in both destruction and the terrorist's ultimate dream of martial arts like throwing the much more powerful opponent into unbalanced ruin. There was then a realistic appraisal of Obama's shortcomings but still a sense of satisfaction that his election was a hurdle overcome that would be beneficial.

      So, the key elements that explain that may be:

      The New Englander, liberal in his sentiments and opposed to slavery as a matter of course
      and
      when Delano ultimately discovers the truth — that Babo, in fact, is the one exercising masterly discipline over his inner thoughts, and that it is Delano who is enslaved to his illusions — he responds with savage violence.
      Perhaps that explains a mental process that went on in the heads of some that, in a career of federal/military service, worked along with and even served under people of color without problem, even admired people like Colin Powell and then became unbalanced after a person of color was endorsed by a majority or the electorate as the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:19:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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