Saturday, March 03, 2007

And Just How Vapid

Is our political discourse? Yesterday, I linked to this piece on Barak Obama’s distant (in time) relatives being slave owners. What I missed was this sort of nugget:

“’The twist is very interesting,’ said Ronald Walters, a political scientist who is director of the African-American Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland, College Park. ‘It deepens his connection with the experience of slavery, even if it deepens it on a different side of the equation.’”

But only for stupid people. Sen. Obama hasn’t enslaved anyone, or endorsed the practice, or personally benefited from it. This connection is completely beyond his control. You don’t get to pick your parents, grand-parents, or great-grand-parents.

Here at TBMD, we’re a big chunk of Protestant Scots-Irish. And not lace-curtain Irish, either. To borrow Grandma BMD’s expression, pig-sh*t Irish. Chances are good that my ancient relatives were not complete saints. And had they any money, chances are they would have been worse.

In America today, the only connections to slavery are genealogical. Elsewhere, that’s not the case. Are African-Americans being discriminated against, at least as a partial result of slavery? Absolutely. Not deniable. Has America been attempting to fix the problem? Yes, ever since the Civil War, but with varying degrees of success. There are no slaves in America. Imperfect as we are, we soldier on.

While I’m not inclined to vote for Sen. Obama, relatives in the 1850s or whatever owning slaves won’t be the reason why. That would be just stupid, mean, and petty.