Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Next Tuesday a Mountaintop Moment

William Bennett and John Cribb at Culture11:

The election of Barack Obama confirms a new self-evident truth: that there is no ceiling to achievement in America based on race. Yes, of course, there is still racism in America. But there are no more viable excuses based simply on race. A black man or woman can become President in America — or anything else he or she wants to be. The recipe, as it largely was for Barack Obama, is to take a serious education seriously, to work hard, and to maintain a strong family ethic. The message to non-black America is that the Huxtables are not just a fictional drama or sitcom of the past; a version of the Huxtables is now about to run Washington with the paterfamilias leading the free world. A successful, upper-middle-class black family now serves as a role model for the success of the rest of black America and the rest of non-black America, too.

As Ta-Nehisi Coates put it in Time Magazine, "the most famous black man in America isn't dribbling a ball or clutching a microphone. He has no prison record. He has not built a career on four-letter words." Indeed. And, now we can all clearly see what we may have been blind to in the past: qualifications or demerits based on skin color, and not character, are the new fiction in America. Racial prejudice should die in the rest of America as it died at the ballot boxes across America last year — as should an ethic of non- or low-achievement based on excuses and low expectations.


Stephanie said...

I beg to differ with Bill Bennett: I don't think we have yet proved that the country will elect a black woman (or a white woman for that matter).

Scooter said...

I'm pretty confident that if the President-elect hadn't run, we'd be swearing in a woman next week. Women justices, women Secs. of State, a woman Speaker; we're pretty close.