Black History Month extended? Well, at least in our corner of the universe. Seems like a good year for it. From the media frenzy of last April to Barack Obama’s candidacy to Imus’ stunning comeback, the moment is now.
(Side note for the record: The Clintons could have been leaders in this regard, using the platform of Hillary’s campaign to take the discussion where it needs to go. Instead, they’ve desperately played the emotional status quo for their own good, and everybody knows it.)
When Imus got the axe from that idiotic cable station (where the problems did not disappear when the I-Man left the building), it was clear that to get him back was going to require some work on the race issue. Since the scab on America’s perennial problem got ripped off, might as well do some micro-surgery so the scars come back a little bit better. Stronger at the broken places, right?
I’m about two-third’s of the way through The End of Blackness, Debra Dickerson’s 2004 book. It’s now clear why Imus asked her on the program. She uses language in a similar way. At times I have been seconds from throwing the book across the room. Taken out of context, a number of racial generalizations she makes about whites are deeply offensive. But I think that’s the point. I am getting the sense I’m in the hands of a master who is speaking to many audiences, but ultimately working to put us on the same page. She is using racism to help end it, dabbling in it to show how stupid it is. At least I think that’s where the book is headed. Like she’s reading my mind, right when I’ve been pushed too far she catches me and shines a light up the road ahead.
The book has taught me a lot already. Huge understatement. It is an education.
Most regular visitors to this site will have already read Dickerson’s assessment of her appearance last week on Imus in the Morning.
Damned if Imus hasn’t been doing yeoman’s work in moving America’s neurotic race obsession forward. I’ve been talking and writing about race for 12 years now, but I was gobsmacked on the air. Imus schooled a sister. When he said he was through apologizing for Rutgers, I took that to mean he was through talking about it. But he’s certainly not through thinking about it, and he’s been doing his homework.
Then she goes on to fully accept the I-Man’s apology. Read it all at MotherJones.com. (And yep, that’s our Bruce providing the audio record of the moment that she linked in her post, but you knew that too, didn’t you?)
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