Dean Clough

September 20, 2021

Portico Darwin: Cool Racial Talk

I was going to catalog all of Biden's missteps since taking office, but I don't have enough computing power here at the house.  But as we're all throwing darts at Papa Joe, remember the French lost $90 billion when Oz decided to go with our nuke subs vs. their diesel ones.  That may have something to do with their rather Gallic indignancy.

So instead of piling on this seemingly nice old man, here's an uncontroversial topic to ponder to begin the week. 

I think the debate over Critical Race Theory is stupid.  It is simply a wedge issue, like flag burning/adoration is, and gay marriage was.  To me, CRT is a term used to describe a body of scholarship regarding America's legacy of chattel African slavery and its impacts.  The end.  There is nothing inherently political in the objective study and interpretation of history.

Does anyone deny we had chattel slavery here and it had an impact?  Why can't we and our children study the facts as we know them now, of that subject?

Because some have chosen to see it as an indictment of America in general, and of white people in particular.  I feel that's objectively wrong (it's a study of history and its implications), but I also feel there's a balance to be struck somewhere.  In other words, it is a nuanced situation.

If the idiotic, hyper-woke racial justice warriors that see racism behind every tank of gas are crazy, so then are those who refuse to recognize the systemic and systematic denial of rights to American citizens - black American citizens specifically - that our original sin of slavery enabled.

I have been looking for information that strikes a balance, between our troubled history of oppression and terrorism as a country, and the very real progress we've made in this same country.  I believe I've found it, or at least a great start, in this article.  It appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine.

If you have an interest in better understanding race and its history in our country, this article is a great place to start - I hope you'll read it.  It's not that long and I found it extraordinary in its balance on this subject.

Foreign Affairs Magazine:  America's Original Sin (Site Article)

Foreign Affairs Magazine:  America's Original Sin (PDF) (if their paywall creates an issue for you)

(Fun fact:  despite being over 3 years old, this article is typically the most- or second-most popular article of any at the Foreign Affairs website - which is a big deal, given the magazine's stature.)

Others complain about all of the hubbub over race because they feel racism just isn't a thing any more in America.  Can't we just move on?  They themselves aren't racist, and don't know anyone else that is, either.  So why must we focus on a negative past, however true it might be?  Let's focus on today's positives.  Sound like anyone you know?

If so, be sure to read this powerful article, about today's mortgage situation for black Americans.  It's from the  "Marketplace" show on NPR, and I challenge anyone to fault the story's objectivity.  If you feel the problem of racism is behind us, please consider the facts as explained in the article, because you may be mistaken.

There's a balance on race to be had, but it has to be fair to all involved.  Pretending a problem is fixed isn't fair, for example, so how can there be balance?

Kudos to Max "Madras" Ryder for noticing this is now a newsletter, not a blog.  As I told the Mad one:  "blog" is so 2006.  I wanted to be cool and have a newsletter instead.  Is it working?

Next, from a reader who will stay anonymous, given the wanton glorification of hard drugs in the story this great friend shared.  A reminder, kids:  stay in school.  Don't do drugs.  Just say no.   

"I saw the Kinks in February 1980 . . . I wonder if it could have been the same tour.  The show was awesome, all the more so because me and my buddies had dropped tabs of Red Dragon before the show.  It was probably the most hallucinogenic trip I ever experienced.  We were in the bleachers with a side view of the band, but I distinctly remember floating out over the crowd on the floor and seeing the show straight on… a true out of the body experience.  

All of that was topped off by the most incredible post-show Frosty at the Wendy’s drive-thru . . . can’t believe we drove while tripping our brains out . . . thanks for triggering some fun memories (although disappointed it didn’t trigger a flash-back 😉)."

Mic drop.

Last:  a big shout-out to those of you that have created an account at the new reader's forum.  There's nothing to be afraid of and I hope you'll join the conversation on "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" and similar dribble drivel. 

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

Here is the genius Stevie Wonder and "Songs In The Key of Life", a landmark in the recording arts.  I'd say the opening track, "Love's In Need of Love Today", gets me teary-eyed about 50% of the time.

Going forward, I'll try to include album art and other info when I can.  Like this. 


About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.