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View Diary: Uncle Tom Powell Stumps for Massah Bush (101 comments)

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  •  "you just can't know," she told me (none)
    I guess I just ran smack into the old Kos "merc" trap, where one comment outshadows everything you've ever done.

    You touched a raw nerve with this one, Soj.  I know you meant no racism with your post, and that "everything you've ever done" both at dKos and at your own blog show you to be the deepest of humanitarians for people of all colors.

    Still, like Armando and others have suggested, I think your use of racially charged terms distracts even from the excellent "everything you've ever done" in the rest of your posting above.

    Once, as a moderator in a focus group held in Atlanta that happened to touch on racial issues, I made a sincere and nuanced statement intended to help everyone feel comfortable to express their opinion.  Our stenographer, an African American woman hired from a temp agency, almost quit on the spot because she found racial offense in how I phrased my comment.  She felt I was speaking code-words to subtly yet consciously ridicule her as an African American woman in the presence of the participants -- who were of various races and gender but who contained no black women.  I assured her I had no intent or even incentive to hurt her...  That my family is multi-racial, and that I'd myself been subjected to racial predjudice in a limited way when travelling abroad.

    She told me, "you just can't know what it's like for us being the continual victim of racism in America."  I had to agree with her on that.  Eventually, she came to see that I'd held no malice towards her.

    I later spoke with a couple African American colleagues about the incident.  The lesson I took away from it is that even words about race that come from my sense of ethics and humanity can wound others unintentionally -- because the divide in lived experience can create vastly different feelings and sensitivities between even decent people of different races in America.

    This thread contains a lot of lessons too.  One of them for me is that, given the sensitivities engendered by our country's historical and continuing depredations against black people -- it's better to let individual African Americans define whether any given person is an Uncle Tom to them.  In the meantime, it's quite safe and accurate for people of any color to call Colin Powell a traitor to the human race.  He's certainly been a deeply dissapointing human to me, as I once felt respect for him.

    Hear it? The Oracle cries the demise of He-Who-Lies. And the rise... of civil America.

    by Civil Sibyl on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:53:24 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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