Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Governing While Black

The estimable Andrew Sullivan is not the best authority on America's racial issues. His past excursions on the topic have revealed a bit of a tin ear (probably due to a dearth of knowledge). That's okay. He's British, it's an American thing, and the subject is complex given the history. So, I give him a pass. Besides, unlike a lot of "thought leaders," he's courageous about hosting insightful discussions about race. The current back and forth on Mr. Obama, the Right, and race is useful. However, Sullivan did throw one wild pitch today: "I think I correctly gauged the American public's willingness to elect a biracial president. I think I drastically under-rated their willingness to actually be governed by one." Come again? It seems to me that the latter cannot be true if the former is, too. So, I'm not sure what Sullivan is talking about. But he seems to be conflating the archaic views of a relative minority (negrophobic Republicans, conservatives & old white people) with those of the majority who would beg to differ. If I'm right, then Sullivan's suggestion that Americans -- white Americans -- are uncomfortable with the idea of Obama "Governing While Black" is both convoluted and wrong. Still, the conversation is healthy.

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