Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Toward a Truly Honest Conversation About Race

Ferguson isn’t the first time we’ve heard calls for an honest conversation about race. Bill Clinton issued one. So did Eric Holder. But it doesn’t seem to have happened yet. Indeed, it seems that the media coverage, from all sides, seems to lack honesty.

That’s understandable. Race is a most difficult topic to discuss in full-dimension. My article today proposes an approach that might be better.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Nemko,

As a long time reader of your blog, I have followed with great interest your posts concerning race and gender. The media has a definite slant towards "diversity" and is indeed extremely friendly towards women, and somewhat anti-men. I was thinking about this stuff last night, and some thoughts occurred to me that I wanted to share with you:

1) The government is terrified of black people as a group with the potential to destabilize society and generally disrupt law and order. The fear also extends somewhat to Hispanics, but much less so in my view. In particular, the government is EXTREMELY concerned about preventing a resurgence of white on black racism. It's easy to see why such a resurgence might take place given the fact that according to Wikipedia: "the single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percentage of the population that is Black and Hispanic." Such a resurgence would not only unify black people against a common (white) aggressor, but also increase the likelihood of a violent uprising by blacks. Witness Ferguson as well as other areas...the national guard had to be called in, and that was just one incident. Racial hatred might even be the catalyst for a broader revolution that in some instances threatens the stability of government itself, especially if it joins with other movements like Occupy. As a white man, I obviously believe it's terribly unfair for the government, media, and private sector to promote diversity, when almost no attempts are made to recognize, let alone champion "white" problems or causes, publicly. That said, after seeing the anger at Ferguson, I have no choice but to conclude that the government/media/civil society is not mistaken in promoting diversity. I now see the national call to embrace diversity for what it really is: a subtle, but clear message to the majority white population that racism is not tolerated. It's ugly, a damn imperfect solution to a complex issue, but I do think the government is right in its assessment that the race issue is a potentially explosive powder keg. The truth may well do more harm than good.

2) The unrelenting drive to promote the advancement of women in all areas of life is simply a propaganda campaign to increase the labor force participation rate. Even your friend Ari Fleischer says this in his movie, "Inequality." True, young women are getting educated in record numbers and outnumber men in attendance at many universities, but their overall participation rate is lower than men's and there are fewer women employed full-time than men. Power and money. At the end of the day, I don't really believe that the people setting the agenda care more about women then men. So the question is, are they justified? Again, as with the race issue, it's a tough question. Getting more people to work is not a bad thing, but I think the government believes that empowering men may risk unraveling decades of progress in enfranchising women.

Marty Nemko said...

I think many factors contribute to the government, media's and colleges' approach to women and minorities. You cite some.

BTW, it's Robert Reich, not Ari Fleisher whom I know.


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