Saturday, September 19, 2009

Letter to David Brooks, NYT

Mr. Brooks,

I read your column regularly and enjoy it. I am writing because I wish to express disagreement with you about your article, "No, it's Not About Race." We most certainly should be reluctant to invoke the specter of racism, which is why Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck throwing the word around frivolously and irresponsibly has required a response from knowledgeable people like Jimmy Carter. You may dismiss him as a bad President, but given his unique perspective, having watched the American South grow from unashamedly segregationist to the point where the Ku Klux Klan had been relegated to isolated pockets in the deep south, his authority on the subject is without peer. You tie Jackson to Jefferson in your article, without also conceding that both men unapologetically held slaves. Finally, you make a salient point at the end of your article:

"One could argue that this country is on the verge of a crisis of legitimacy," the economic blogger Arnold Kling writes. "The progressive elite is starting to dismiss rural WHITE America as illegitimate, and vice versa."

You can't have it both ways, Mr. Brooks. Whether rural or urban, the qualifier, "white" makes this unequivocally about race.

Perhaps what you saw during your run was evidence that we hadn't quite jumped over the precipice, but we are most assuredly standing on it--surely you can see this. You are a man of integrity: why would you prostrate yourself before the alter of demagogues, the likes of Limbaugh and Beck? You are one of the last rational voices on the right. Use it to pull us back into the bosom of reason.


No comments: