Down the Ballot

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Obama's Race in America Statement

Each successive generation seems to be making progress in changing attitudes when it comes to race.  It doesn’t mean we’re in a post-racial society.  It doesn’t mean that racism is eliminated.  But when I talk to Malia and Sasha, and I listen to their friends and I seem them interact, they’re better than we are -- they’re better than we were -- on these issues.  And that’s true in every community that I’ve visited all across the country.

I think out of all the pontification and posturing that comes about from a discussion of subjects like Race in America or anything of a similar nature is that progress lies in the hearts and minds of those who are yet to come. This is an idea born back in the annals of epistemology and how we come to understand and know ideas. 


Take this proposition that was once widely accepted as true. 

P1: The Earth is flat. 
 Now, many smart people in their era probably agreed with P1. Most people didn't leave more than a few hundred miles outside of their homelands, let alone traverse the seas. One day a neighbor of yours comes back after being gone for many years. He tells you of the wonderful journey he had sailing around the world. He never fell off the world as the maps of the time had implied. He simply returned back to his starting location.

How did the sphere believers eventually beat out the flat worlders? Did they persuade every flat advocate?  Certainly not. What happened basically was the convincibles changed their mind for whatever reasons and the people who held true to the flat world theory eventually went extinct. One day, this could be what happens in terms of race, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it. There are still far too many people living, helping to keep their narrow racial perspectives alive and well within the minds of newer additions to society. We are certainly headed in the right direction as has been evidenced by younger folks in progressive communities across the country being more open minded about the ways in which we live and interact with other individuals.

This doesn't mean we can just sit by and wait for societal change to occur. We have to be proactive and help change come along where we are able to do some good. A more perfect union is still off in the distance, but with each day we are one step closer to creating a world we would want our friends and family to live in.
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