Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Deep Sleep

("When Whites Just Don't Get It" and "Are Police Bigoted?")

There is an all too familiar narrative, an arc of Rip Van Winkle slumber followed by a moment of frenzied activity and then the inevitable slide back into oblivion for those issues that we are unwilling to address except for the briefest periods at the most cataclysmic of times.

We have witnessed it in the arena of gun control, only voicing our outrage in  immediate, visceral reply to the most overwhelming of horrors and tragedies . We have been advocates for immigration reform, in one instant believing there was a national referendum for change and in the next putting any chance of meaningful movement back into hibernation.

And now, we awaken to the notion that race relations really have not vastly improved, and that change is not an option but a mandate. But, as soon as the initial wave has receded,  the conversation turns once more to predictable notions that there is more fallacy than fact in these pronouncements and that the world is doing just fine the way it is.

In today's New York Times  we read of a study which found that some whites considered themselves, not blacks, the true victims of racism, and another where police officers in one city, wary of repercussions for shooting blacks are actually less likely to fire their weapons at a person of color. No matter how ridiculous the concept, fallacious positions such as these always surface in response to the harsh light of exposure of the depth of our worst failings.

It is all part of the inexorable march of our nation back into deep sleep, where the most profound dilemmas of today remain an equally entrenched part of our fabric tomorrow.  Fox News is now tired of hearing about the problems of blacks. I guess if they tell us it is time to move on, then on we go.

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