Gerald Early has written an eloquent and thought-provoking piece in the Chronicle about Barack Obama’s election hopes in the context of American racial history. He presents the first coherent argument about the end of racism that does not give any thanks to White culture while also unceremoniously dumping the age-old and endlessly-harped-upon Black position as-victim. I think his most interesting thought is
Many of us black professionals, members of the black elite, keep the embers of our victimization burning for opportunistic reasons: to lev-erage white patronage, to maintain our own sense of identity and tradition. In some respects, this narrative has something of the power in its endurance that original sin does for Christians. In fact, our narrative of victimization is America’s original sin, or what we want to serve as the country’s original sin, which may be why we refuse to give it up.
It’s a piece well worth reading if you are interested in the cultural and political themes that this election draws upon but only seem to get passing reference in the news media.