Responding to my post on his finding political validation at an Earth, Wind & Fire concert, Mike Plaisted wants to know what I find "so funny about peace, love and understanding."
Nothing. I am strongly in favor of all three. But so is every conservative I know - even the dread Charlie Sykes who I have yet to hear, as Mike claims, give a lecture about "racism being understandable and black people getting what they deserve." To the contrary, what underlies his concern - and mine - about street violence is a strong conviction that black people - who are overwhelmingly its victims - don't "deserve it."
In the comments to his initial post on this, Mike had the following to say to me:
Actually, it would have done you all good, just as observers, to see a positive interracial event. It puts the lie to so much that you all hold dear about the "dysfunctional" black community and the impossibility of racial progress and harmony. And yet, these sentiments are scoffed at by the right as naive and worse.
Well, there goes Mike down Rodeo with a shot gun. But I hardly need him to show me "positive interracial events." I've been to quite a few. I attend one most every Sunday at St. Paul's downtown. Heck, if we want to speak strictly, my family gatherings are "positive interracial events" (well, at least most are positive) given that I have a black brother-in-law and nephew and an hispanic sister-in-law. (I used to have an asian sister-in-law too, but they got divorced. Not so positive.)Believe it or not, I've even got African American kids in my classes and I can't help but notice that are decidedly not dysfunctional. They all work hard. They all pass. Some of them even get "A"s.
Why he thinks that I in particular and conservatives in general think racial harmony and progress is impossible is beyond me. While it is certainly true that many conservatives oppose "strong" forms of affirmative action and the expansion of traditional social welfare programs, that is a disagreement about means rather than ends. While many believe that the failure to address cultural dysfunction in certain
parts of the black community is, however well intentioned, a cruel form of tolerance, so do lots of black leaders.
There is nothing funny about peace, love and understanding. But I think it includes recognizing that people who disagree with you are not morally retrograde wing-nuts "without souls."