Saturday, October 25, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Can we have a courageous discussion about race?

By
From page A8 | March 24, 2014 |

In 2009, newly sworn-in Attorney General Eric Holder challenged Americans to courageously engage in a conversation about race.

“If we are to make progress on these issues, we must feel comfortable enough with one another and tolerant enough of each other to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us,” he said.

Five years after Holder’s challenge, the situation only appears to have deteriorated further.

As a nation, we frequently tiptoe around the often perilous issue of race and the many public policy issues race touches. This happens because many on the left are quick to assign racial prejudice to their opponents in debates about public policy issues they feel are the province of liberals alone.

In no place is this more blatant than in our tenuous national dialogue about poverty.

Ask Rep. Paul Ryan.

He has been the latest victim of this phenomenon after recent comments in which he referred to the “tailspin of culture, in our inner cities,” which he argues has created a culture of dependency in disadvantaged communities.

Ryan, who has been on a listening tour of inner-city neighborhoods for more than a year, was summarily lambasted by the left for his implied racial meaning (although race was never mentioned).

His experience illustrates the primary reason many avoid open and honest discussion of such sensitive subject matter.

Conservatives have learned that when discussing issues like poverty, they expose themselves to accusations of racism.

Such accusations are frequently “used as a delegitimizing tactic on issues  . . .  where good-faith disagreement should be possible,” explained New York Times columnist Ross Douthat.

As Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney wrote last year, “unfairly imagining racism where it doesn’t exist . . .  isn’t a good way to begin a discussion.”

Similar sentiments were shared by Michael Meyers, executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, who wrote “It is so important not to trivialize racism by calling things racist that they are not. . . .  Liberals should know better than to keep crying racism, falsely.”

In reality, the risk that one might be assigned such a loaded moniker does nothing but keep alternative, even creative, policy ideas off the table.

We are not a racist society, but we are not a “post-racial” one either.

In spite of our best intentions, colorblindness is a virtue we have yet to achieve.

But it will be impossible to achieve if we shut down debate instead of using it as a tool in tackling the manifold social and economic problems that disproportionately impact minority communities.

Such an endeavor requires empathy from the right.

And it demands tolerance from the left, made all the more imperative after such swift assertions that Ryan and like-minded conservatives are little more than racists.

Social decay and poverty demand our attention. Their persistence proves that our current approach to fighting such ills has failed.

We won’t improve the prospects for the poor by employing the same old ineffective programs or by smearing policymakers who suggest alternative causes and solutions.

Holder was right: Confronting race and poverty demands courage. It will force us to think, listen and face some realities about ourselves. Not all of those truths will be pleasant or easy to acknowledge.

But no resolution will ever be realized if we refrain from engaging, prevent others from talking, refuse to listen or retreat in the face of adversity.

Cynthia M. Allen is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Readers may send her email at cmallen@star-telegram.com.

Cynthia M. Allen

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • The MisterMarch 24, 2014 - 8:09 am

    "They" (government, international banksters, and mega-corps) will never allow this race issue to be resolved. They gain power and control when we are in conflict with one another... especially when they can be perceived as the voice of reason. They started this race problem, they perpetuated this race problem, they finance this race problem, they protect this race problem under the authority of law. They ripped Africans from their homes, enslaved them and brought them to this continent. They legislated the Fugitive Slave Act to return escaped slaves. They implemented Jim Crow laws to create conflict between the races. They created marriage license requirements to prevent the races from joining one another. They created segregation, quotas, drug laws and the war on poverty to destabilize the Black families. They created eugenics and Planned Parenthood and forced sterilization to bring genocide on Blacks in this country. So, the only true way to have brotherhood among the races is to take the power away from the "they" and return it to "us" the people. As an aside, because people generally treat other people, regardless of their skin color, as they themselves would like to be treated, this has worn away some of the power of conflict that "they" once wielded. Because "they" must have conflict among the people, this could well be the reason for the rise of homosexuality as a protected act and a protected class. Whether "they" are successful or not is up to us... the people.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterMarch 24, 2014 - 8:10 am

    "They" (government, international banksters, and mega-corps) will never allow this race issue to be resolved. They gain power and control when we are in conflict with one another... especially when they can be perceived as the voice of reason. They started this race problem, they perpetuated this race problem, they finance this race problem, they protect this race problem under the authority of law. They ripped Africans from their homes, enslaved them and brought them to this continent. They legislated the Fugitive Slave Act to return escaped slaves. They implemented Jim Crow laws to create conflict between the races. They created marriage license requirements to prevent the races from joining one another. They created segregation, quotas, drug laws and the war on poverty to destabilize the Black families. They created eugenics and Planned Parenthood and forced sterilization to bring genocide on Blacks in this country. So, the only true way to have brotherhood among the races is to take the power away from the "they" and return it to "us" the people. As an aside, because people generally treat other people, regardless of their skin color, as they themselves would like to be treated, this has worn away some of the power of conflict that "they" once wielded. Because "they" must have conflict among the people, this could well be the reason for the rise of hom0sexuality as a protected act and a protected class. Whether "they" are successful or not is up to us... the people.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
 
Fall Harvest Festival brings children back to school

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Optimist Club brings youth together for Halloween golf

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Cut-a-thon to help fight cancer, abuse

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
School board candidates forum set next week

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Staying active may prolong your life

By Scott Anderson | From Page: B8

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

.

US / World

Suspect arrested in death of 2 California deputies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
KC-10 from Travis lands in Houston, smoke in cockpit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Jury says castrated sex offender should be freed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Reagan astrologer, Joan Quigley, dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Remains belong to missing Virginia student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Dallas nurse receives thanks, hug from Obama

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

School gunman was Homecoming prince, students say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Lava creeps toward road on Hawaii’s Big Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

NY, NJ order Ebola quarantine for doctors, others

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Gunman in Canada attack complained about mosque

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Egypt declares emergency in northern Sinai

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Militant group said to be using chlorine bombs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Putin accuses US of undermining global stability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 25, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
SEIU shouldn’t own Board of Supervisors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

Vote, and make a difference

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Yes on Measure A

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Spering best choice for county supervisor

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Return Garamendi to Congress

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 10 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Oct. 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My mother-in-law wants me to convert to Catholicism, but I don’t want to

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Hello Kitty turning 40, and the birthday bash will be ‘supercute’

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

P.D. James’ riff on Jane Austen comes to TV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

TLC cancels its ‘Honey Boo Boo’ series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Royals beat Giants 3-2 for 2-1 World Series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Vargas to take on Vogelsong in Game 4 of Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Falcons hang with Wolves in 34-8 setback

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Hamilton helps Vanden sink Vallejo, 35-0

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

Vintage rolls past Armijo, 55-8

By Mike Corpos | From Page: B1

 
Mustangs fall flat in rout by Wildcats

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

Unfazed, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh doing it his way

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lloyd leads US women past Mexico 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders’ Woodley, Young expected to be placed on IR

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Henley’s putting gets him lead at Sea Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge halts New Jersey’s sports betting plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Joe Maddon exercises opt-out, won’t return to Rays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jamie McMurray bests Chase drivers to win pole

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Attorney: NFL, Ravens not helping union in Rice probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

SCC women’s soccer team falls to Mendocino 3-1

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

US official: Auto safety agency under review

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Ford profit falls in third quarter on truck costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Procter & Gamble taking out its batteries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
UPS expects double-digit surge in Dec shipments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

US new-home sales close to flat in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Melvin Tate

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Dr. Robert M. Takamoto

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 10/25/14

Real estate transactions for Oct. 25, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2