FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2018
Part 5—Let's return to this topic: Incomparably, we were called away from our desk this morning, interrupting our work on this topic.
That said, this topic is very important. It involves the destructive old skin game called "race."
We think it's a great advance that people who are defined as "white" have been able, in the past fifty year, to slip the chains of their "origins."
Ethnicity came to be optional. Nobody hugely cares any more. That isn't yet true about "race."
We all still get defined by "race," a taxonomy which comes to us live and direct from what Professor Genovese called "the world the slaveholders made." Plainly, race isn't hugely optional yet, but that's a type of additional liberation which should be the goal.
This brings us back to the wonderful question Professor Gates asked last year. He was speaking with Ava DuVernay about her genetic "origins," some of which led back to Europe, some of which led to people who lived "under African skies."
DuVernay displayed a rooting interest in how the balance of her "origins" would turn out. "What difference does it make?" the professor deftly asked.
What did Professor Gates mean by that? As the year proceeds, we'll offer our suppositions.
Meanwhile, we've liked Christine Emba's work at the Washington Post. We think her instincts were slightly unhelpful on this particular matter, and yes, she's stuck with her youthiness, though that will transplendently fade.
That said, we like the cut of Emba's jib. She deserves to be freed from the chains which are under discussion, as does everyone else in your town and on your block. The concepts have come to us live and direct from people with gruesome ideas.
It's good that Marty slipped some of these chains. It wouldn't be smart to go back.