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December 22, 2008

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DeAngelo

Why are you guys debating that crazy term "post-racial" It's a stupid term that's a mirage.

jelani c.

yeah, but unfortunately you can't avoid the stupid discussions. they become stupid assumptions which harden into stupid beliefs and ultimately stupid actions before reaching the final stage: tragic consequences.

M.

Thank you for posting the link to this.

I got the side-eye from my office mates when I applauded your point on white mediocrity. Many of us are told by our folks growing up that we're going to have to be twice as good at anything as the white folks to even be permitted in the same room, and it's true; it's one of those things that heroic transcendence narratives -- like Obama's, like so many of ours -- in fact seem to exacerbate.

I'd be curious to know your view on something I've been thinking about for a while: this issue of intentionality. When we discuss prisons or schools or poverty, it seems like there's this bizarre assumption that American (or global) society is oriented towards equity or justice, and it's simply a failure of method or inadequate policy that prevents us from reaching that -- the idea, for example, that schools are set up to equally educate all, and they only need tweaking to achieve that. Am I crazy for thinking that the schools are in fact achieving exactly what they are intended to do, which is prevent our children from acquiring the skills and access to not only compete within the system, but to question and change/overthrow it? I am wary of sounding like a conspiracy nut, but it's simply difficult to see this any other way.

DeAngelo

Like your response, Mr. Cobb.

jelani c.

I don't subscribe to the belief that the school system "intentionally" under-educates black children or that the failure we see is a product of the system functioning as it should.

But -- and I'm about to sound slightly Bill Clinton-ish here -- it depends upon what you mean by "intentional" and "should."

I do not believe that there is any group of people who, looking at this globally competitive society, decided to jack up the schools and logjam black achievement. But I do believe that fixing the state of affairs that produced this logjam is not a priority. So in that sense we could say that guy on television didn't "intentionally" set out to become the worlds heaviest man... but he did continue down a path of over-eating even after recognizing the impact that his diet was having on his weight.

Losing weight or changing his diet simply wasn't a priority and the result is the same. And ultimately, he bears the same amount of responsibility either way.

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I'd be curious to know your view on something I've been thinking about for a while: this issue of intentionality.

Luke Hamilton

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