Monday, June 09, 2008

Obama does make history

Here's a link to the Register's Sunday editorial on what one must admit is the historic nature of Barack Obama's satus as the presumptive Democratic nominee. Like him or not -- and I would probably criticize his every initiative except getting out of Iraq and repealing the Patriot Act -- the fact that a black man has been nominated for president in a country with such a racist past is quite something. (Not that that comment should be meant in as dismissively condemnatory a way as some who use the phrase; every country's history is a mixture of the admirable and the execrable with most somewhat mixed, and on balance I think the admirable in our past outweighs the hideous, and it all shows a capacity for change -- not always beneficial.) And while racism has declined considerably n my lifetime, when I was a kid in Southern California, which was never too much of a racist place, in the 1950s it wasn't considered shocking to hear the or use the "n" word, though my parents didn't and taught us that it wasn't polite or considerate. And remember that most of the resistance to civil rights laws came from Democrats in the 1950s and early '60s because the Solid South was solidly Democratic. There is still more latent racism in this country than most of use would care to admit, but at least it's no longer respectable to voice it. Those are changes I can live with.

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