Saturday, February 21, 2009

The case against calling for a "frank conversation on race"

John McWhorter has the perfect response to Attorney General Eric Holder's recent speech in which he called America a "nation of cowards" for not having a "frank conversation" on race.

Read the whole thing, but here are a couple key points:

[1.] The idea that black uplift requires a Very Special kind of "conversation" in 2009 entails a hothouse fragility antithetical to any coherent conception of black strength. . . . It is unclear to me what purpose this brand of sensitivity serves. You must joke with us delicately. You must engage in ticklish "conversations" with us about what's wrong with you. . . .

[2.] I suspect those who call for this "conversation" know the claim has become more gestural than concrete. Otherwise, they would state their case directly rather than asking to "talk."  . . . What, or who, would determine that we had finally "talked" enough?
RELATED: A Jonah Goldberg classic: "Honesty is not the best policy."