I’m a little late with this Jonah Goldberg gem:
Americans are very good at hearing ideological appeals, but we’re almost tone-deaf when it comes to clichés. That’s why liberals hide so much of their agenda inside them. Say “diversity makes us stronger” a billion times and you’ll come to believe it uncritically, too.
Usually, when I hear a liberal call for a national conversation on race, I translate it as: “People who disagree with me need to be instructed why they are wrong.” Indeed, in a sense it’s no wonder America is a nation of cowards when it comes to race, because so many of us are terrified of being called racist the moment we step out of line with liberal orthodoxy.
PLUS: Kevin Farris writes:
In other words, let’s have an “honest and open” dialogue on race, but don’t bring up certain views, or you will be labeled an extremist – i.e., racist.
Look at last week’s “dialogue” on whether a New York Post cartoon, comparing a chimp shot by police to the author of the stimulus bill, was racist. Never mind that the bill was written by the white speaker of the House, not the black president. Never mind that monkeys have been used to depict presidents ranging from Lincoln to W.
Unfortunately, the bigger lesson is this: These incidents – Imus, the cartoon, Holder’s speech – are our national conversation on race. And they do not “foster a period of dialogue among the races,” as Holder proposes. They foster anger, suspicion, and division. They consist of accusations, countercharges, and hard feelings, and they are often difficult to understand. Get involved, and chances are you’ll get burned.
Avoiding such dialogues isn’t cowardice; it’s common sense.