Thursday, March 26, 2009

Race Talk

Toni Morrison wrote an essay about language and its uses that I think many people didn't get on first read.

And then there's this nonsense.

A lot of people have sounded off about this already. But here's my concern: this Bruce woman, Glenn Beck, Fox News, "Joe the Plumber" among many others,is that their rhetoric and language can provoke action. Dangerous action. It's also distracting. Like our obsession with the AIG bonuses (1% of the bailout money). Please. That's not nearly as distressing as trying to unravel the plan to nationalize Citigroup and Bank of America. Because we really, really need to pay attention to that. It's inevitable. And it's going to take a shift in our thinking, patience and work to define our shared existence in this nation going forward. So I'm not sure what significance a culture war has right now when people just want to find balance, maintain a decent quality of life, and pursue happiness.

Someone wrote in my high school yearbook this quote: "You have the freedom of speech, just watch what you say." I still have mixed feelings about that statement. Maybe I'm just asking for discernment, common sense, or just words that expand awareness rather than contract it. Words that create, rather than destroy. And the wisdom to know the difference.

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