Saturday, July 04, 2009

What to do on the 4th?


What better way to spend the 4th:

Read some Cornel West: Here

or listen: here (search for Cornel West)

here is a quote:

The question is, as the American democratic experiment has grown old, the challenge is for that experiment to really grow up. James Baldwin used to say that innocence itself is the crime prior to the committing of the concrete crime. And optimism. George Santayana put it so well in his essay on William James. He said, “Americans believe they’re always already on the right track,” so even if they fear they may have done something wrong, like the prison in Iraq, it’s just an abnormal, aberrational thing that couldn’t have anything to do with who we fundamentally are. He says, “Well, you’ve got to check yourself.” That wonderful moment in Melville’s Pierre where he says, “Look at that Christian gentleman dressed so sharp and beautifully, and yet just a few weeks ago he kicked his slave in the head, and three years ago he shot down an Indian.” So you get an Indian annihilator and a slaveholder dressed so smoothly, speaks with such eloquence, hiding and concealing his dark side. You see that in the vanilla suburbs, hiding and concealing the decrepit school systems in chocolate cities, hiding and concealing the inadequate childcare, unavailable health care, shortage of jobs of any quality, and yet still the sugar-coating. That sugar-coating is associated with the optimism.

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