Wednesday, January 21, 2015

John McWhorter — Start a Revolution Against the War on Drugs

via The New York Times:

The idea of a “New Civil Rights Movement” is hopeless. The civil rights revolution was due not only to relentless effort, but a confluence of factors that made them bear fruit in a way they hadn’t for centuries before. Amid the Cold War, segregation was embarrassing as P.R. Restrictions on immigration since the 1920s had made it easier to draw focus to black people. Television was new. Republicans were chastened after Barry Goldwater’s defeat.

There is nothing equivalent today. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to sit still; we just need to narrow our focus. Any uptick in “revolutionary” ideas among blacks in our moment is founded largely in what happened to Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and John Crawford last year, and it is on the prevalence of such cases that we must indeed focus. The poisonous relationship between black men and police forces is the key to why we never really get past race.

 Racism expresses itself in other ways, but no cognitively resilient group of people feels “oppressed” in a day to day sense by wealth gaps or dumb things people can say. A world with no racism at all would be like a world without dirt, and playing fields -- made of dirt -- are never perfectly level. Few black people would deny any of that.

Read complete article here