First Post At TPMCafe's Discussion On Race

Here it is. The Essence:

We err when we talk about racism as this force that ultimately helps whites, but hurts blacks. The truth is that white people have paid terribly for America's original sin. Consider that while other countries were able to relatively peaceably excise themselves from slavery, America had to sacrifice some 700,000 of its young in order to move forward. That is a horrible toll. Look at the Civil Rights movement and compare, say, the fates of Atlanta and Birmingham, and then look at how the two cities handle the impending epoch of integration. I confess no hard evidence here, but is it a mistake that some of the least prosperous states in the country are also some of the most historically anti-black? Beyond history, from the perspective of cold capitalism, we are in a dog fight for dominance with rising powers. Isn't every black child we lose to a broken educational system a soldier lost before we could even enlist her for the coming battle?

At some point, this has to move beyond a "do the right thing white people" discussion and become a "this is for the good of America" discussion. We have to start convincing people that closing the racial gap helps everyone. The good news is we're starting to see some action that moves down that path. Glenn rightly alluded to the continuing crisis of the large portion of black men residing behind bars. One of the more promising developments is that states are starting to own up to some of the foolishness of their criminal justice policies. But they're not doing it out of any love for black folks, they're doing it because it's in their economic interest—they simply can't afford to keep warehousing black men. I think there's a light in that reasoning. We have to begin to show people how this discussion benefits them.