Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I have been having some bothersome computer problems lately. That's the reason I did not post yesterday. I am still looking for a decent alternate spot to get my writing done, but if I cannot get a post out over the next day or so, you know the reason why.

I apologize for this interruption. I have been writing articles out in longhand, so when I finally do get my internet working again, the Reason, Commerce, Justice & Free Beer will resume flowing immediately.

We have several issues we need to address in the coming days. The Sotomayor confirmation, it appears, has triggered a fresh debate about the "relevance of race" in American discourse. Some pundits say we now live in a "post-racial society." Others go so far as to say that ancestry, national origin and race have nothing to do with a person's capacity to make decisions. They say it means nothing because we are all "Americans." According to this reasoning, a privileged Republican white male can make precisely the same decision with regard to the concerns of a poor black female as a Democratic black woman could.

I think this is all rubbish. No matter what anyone says, race is still America's leading national disgrace. In the race problem, we see all of America's bold aspirations and stunning hypocrisies revealed. This is not to say that America has not made remarkable progress on racial questions. It is merely to say that race remains a serious concern, especially in a country that professes principles as sweeping and as hopeful as ours. It is simply foolish to contend that ancestry means nothing. In my view, it influences almost everything about us. Italians approach questions differently than Jews, and the Dutch see things differently than the Puerto Ricans. We can trace our individual propensities, talents, outlooks, perspectives and basic values back to originators in our family tree. My ancestors were German Lutherans. I know my disrespect for authority and written law came from them, and I am not ashamed to give my ancestry credit for the way I turned out.

America made a bold break from history when it elected Barack Obama President. But that one act did not end the race problem in this country, nor did it suddenly eradicate all the vestiges of our checkered history with race. These are the issues we must discuss when I get a reliable place to start writing again.

Thanks again for your patience. And thanks to all who log in to read my posts.


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