Tuesday, February 24, 2009
My op-ed on the "nation of cowards" comment
Lately, I have been trying to write about the kind of heavy-lifting that understanding race/racism actually demands of contemporary Americans. I used the Holder comment as an excuse to enter the fray again, and publicly, with an op-ed in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. I try to flesh-out a bit of Holder's argument, and I link it to that controversial chimp-shooting cartoon.
In the op-ed, I do say that we are all cowards. I think that Holder got that part right, even as I agree with the claim that any invocation of cowardice runs the risk of alienating more people than it brings to the multiracial table.
Still, Holder isn't just singling out white Americans, and negotiating our fear is an inescapable part of what it means to be human.
So, why are we so afraid of being called out for being afraid?