Still waiting for Obama’s national discussion on race

For all the talk about Obama’s national dialogue on race, so far it’s been limited to blaming old people like his grandmother and his minister for living in the past.

But America’s racial problems are not the fault of the likes of Barack’s grandmother. Rather, they have their route in systemic and sustained differences in performance on a variety of measures. For instance: pro-social behavior.

Half Sigma: School teachers in Fairfax County are racist
(1) Someone decided that in addition to teaching traditional academic subjects, the Fairfax County schools should also teach life skills deemed “essential for success in the workplace” such as “the ability to contribute effectively in a group” the ability to “resolve conflicts,” and “the demonstration of moral character and ethical judgment.”

(2) Part of the plan included measuring students’ level of ability in these non-academic life skills.

(3) The measurements showed that blacks do poorly in these non-academic life skills compared to whites.

(4) The Fairfax County School Board thus votes to “abandon” the report (how do you do that exactly?) and change the plan because the skill gap between whites and blacks demonstrated that the teachers were racist in measuring their students. The Fairfax County School Board, you see, has received word from Higher Powers that blacks and whites are identical in these life skills, and thus they know that the only reason the measurements would show otherwise is because of racist teachers.

An actual national discussion on race would tackle the difficult question of how to create an equal and equitable society in a country of great diversity. Obama’s campaign and supporters, by contrast, have been limited to saying how great it is for a black to have a shot at a prestigious job.

Obama’s run a racially divisive campaign, so it’s no surprise that his base of support is largely blacks (who politically recognize themselves to be in a poor situation and thus rationally attempt to use political organization to extract wealth from society) and nearly everyone else (asians, latinos, uneducated whites, etc.). The exception here are educated whites who are socialized into the softer university subjects, and thus seek signs that they are not racist.

Obviously, a real national dialog on race would be better than this mess. We’re just not going to get it with Barack Obama.

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