Now, if only I hadn't that infection in my early years! Because, then I would have never stuck my nose so seriously into attempting to understand this complex world. I could have chosen a professional life where I could simply have punched-in and punched-out, and not worried about a damn thing.
Nah, that is an alternative that I would never have chosen!
Thus, I end up reading and thinking and driving myself crazy.
A horrible feeling it was to read two articles, in two different publications, and feel that there is nothing I, or even millions of us, could ever do to change the way things are.
In the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about the worrisome fear of a black President, and he notes:
After Obama won, the longed-for post-racial moment did not arrive; on the contrary, racism intensified.Yes, it is awful how much race has become a divisive issue. Coates' essay is intense, and I hope that it will gain a much, much wider audience. Towards the end, he writes:
In a democracy, so the saying goes, the people get the government they deserve. Part of Obama’s genius is a remarkable ability to soothe race consciousness among whites. Any black person who’s worked in the professional world is well acquainted with this trick. But never has it been practiced at such a high level, and never have its limits been so obviously exposed. This need to talk in dulcet tones, to never be angry regardless of the offense, bespeaks a strange and compromised integration indeed, revealing a country so infantile that it can countenance white acceptance of blacks only when they meet an Al Roker standard.Reading that essay while getting ready to sleep was a bad idea. Instead of calmly drifting off into sleep, there I was wide awake, thinking about all the subtle and explicit racist jokes I have heard or read about Obama. I wanted to yell out a big FUCK YOU in the middle of the night.
Sleep I did, eventually, and back to the routines of reading. After laughing through the cartoons in the New Yorker, I settled down to read Jane Mayer's piece on the other race in this election--the race for money. The more Obama falls behind in this race, Mayer thinks that he could even lose this election! The idea(l) of one-person-one-vote is threatened ever more than before:
the top .07 per cent of donors are exerting greater influence on the 2012 race than the bottom eighty-six per cent. And this accounts only for publicly disclosed donations: much of the money raised during this election cycle consists of secret gifts to “nonprofit public-welfare” groups that claim to have no overt political agenda.