Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Genesis of Racism.... According to Gerson

I don't know why I do this to myself.... Michael Gerson writes,
Racial discrimination is the poorly healed scar of American history, and Obama's election would be a happy arrival on a national journey that began with African Americans considered only three-fifths of a person.
Gerson truly believes that racial discrimination is premised on American history? Which would make it unique to America?

If I were to try to be charitable, I could broaden his argument such that all racism is predicated on the scars of history. Except there's racism in every society, even those with few discernible race-related scars. Often, antipathy is directed at racial or ethnic groups new to a society - in that case, would Gerson tell us that the "scar" is the nation's historic lack of racial conflict?

For a guy who pretends to be an evangelical Christian, this ranks right up with his "Adultery? No biggie" column. Given his propensity for attacking Obama's church, is he truly telling us that his minister has never spoken on racism, and its roots in the frailties of man? That the lesson he draws from years of church attendance is, "Don't examine yourself for the roots of your sins - it's all great-grandpa's fault"? Or is he simply letting us know that he habitually sleeps through the sermon.

Gerson seems to have glimmers of memory from his Sunday School classes:
This message is inherently prideful: I understand your bitterness and confusion, but I don't reflect it. You know me. I'm better than that.
Perhaps now he needs to brush up on that passage about "specks" and "beams".

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