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Sunday, March 30, 2008

 
Condoleezza Rice Goes Nuts

Get a load of this (emphasis added):

"Black Americans were a founding population," she said. "Africans and Europeans came here and founded this country together — Europeans by choice and Africans in chains. That's not a very pretty reality of our founding."

As a result, Miss Rice told editors and reporters at The Washington Times, "descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and I think you continue to see some of the effects of that."

"That particular birth defect makes it hard for us to confront it, hard for us to talk about it, and hard for us to realize that it has continuing relevance for who we are today," she said.

One may note that no nation as old as ours is free from that birth defect, but that distracts from the real issue with these remarks. Why do we have to confront 19th-century slavery? It is certainly an important history lesson, but Rice is overstating its relevance to current events.

Let me illustrate:

A ---> B ---> C ---> D

This represents a timeline for a particular culture, such as American blacks. Each letter marks the date when an injustice against that group has been corrected. To move from Point C to D doesn't require harping on the injustice that existed prior to A.

America didn't have to confront slavery when it confronted racism and pushed it into the cultural margins. Just as modern issues revolving around Manchester, UK need not rehash the 18th-century gerrymandering that disenfranchised that city's Parliamentary representation over a century ago (unless British politicians seek to bring back the "rotten boroughs").

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