Robert Huber at Philadelphia Magazine is catching probably about the amount of hell he imagined when he penned his piece on "Being White in Philadelphia." Many of Huber's critics are attacking the piece for what it says about race and who he interviewed. That criticism may or may not be fair. Reading through the piece myself, I thought the article's problem was more technical than racial.
Writers who focus on race/gender/sexual orientation are often of the mind that the issues that they are tackling have, somehow, never been tackled before, or if so, have not been tackled "honestly" or "forthrightly" or "candidly." In the arena of race, the notion that Americans "don't talk about race" is a particularly pernicious rendition of this logic. I've never actually found this to be true. On the contrary, there's a lot of literature on the subject -- some of it enlightening, some of it clueless, and some of it racist. The sheer amount of material should, theoretically, raise the bar for "writing about race."
But because Americans actually enjoy yelling about race a great deal, it does not. At this moment, Huber's piece is the most read story on his home site. I am certain his editors are unsurprised. I think I could drum up all sorts of traffic if only I mentioned reparations, Ron Paul and the Confederate flag every other post. I think this is why, with some regularity, we are bombarded with bad journalism premised on getting us to "talk about race."