Ho Sit Down…
NY Post Writer Believes Discussions About Race Aren’t Necessary
If you’re not an NPR listener you may not be aware that the channel recently canceled “Tell Me More,” and a NY Post writer named Naomi Schaefer Riley seems to believe the change is a signal that Americans aren’t interested in continuing dialogues about race and that such discussions are pointless. Of course being that we witness heated discourse about racism and discrimination ON THE DAILY we’re inclined to disagree.
However we thought we’d share some excerpts from her op ed, entitled “Let’s Stop Talking About Race” which ran in the Post today:
Tell us less: That seems to be the message that listeners have sent to NPR executives. “Tell Me More,” the daily public-radio newscast on racial issues and diversity, has finally been canceled after seven years.
The show was never able to get more than a million listeners — less than a quarter of the audience for the talk show “Fresh Air” and less than a twelfth of that for the evening newscast “All Things Considered.”
Some would say this is no surprise, given that almost 90 percent of NPR’s audience is white.
Of course, maybe NPR wasn’t looking to reach blacks and Hispanics with its dialogue about race, but also whites.
As an executive producer of the show explained a few years ago, “It’s really a tricky thing. We want to have conversations that people of color would want to hear, but we also want to create opportunities for other people to hear about these issues.”
This echoes the recent wail of New York Times columnist Charles Blow about our “endlessly ached-for, perpetually stalled ‘national conversation on race’ that many believe is needed but neglected.”
Hey, folks: Maybe audiences, black and white, have just gotten tired of these conversations.
Maybe they’re done with national dialogue on race. Bill Clinton’s “One America Initiative,” all of the analysis of Barack Obama’s life, all of the panels, the cable talk shows, the harangues by Al Sharpton, the psychoanalysis of Donald Sterling — what if America has no appetite for this anymore?
Wait, so because NPR cancelled a show about diversity issues we are to believe that AMERICA isn’t interested in them? We’re more inclined to believe that people of different races have different outlets for these discussions. After all — our comments section stays poppington ESPECIALLY when it comes to racial issue. Homegirl got it twisted.
But apparently she has some numbers from an “MTV survey” that back her claim:
A recent MTV survey found that 73 percent of millennials “believe never considering race would improve society” and “68 percent believe focusing on race prevents society from becoming colorblind.”
And the vast majority (84 percent) of these young people say their families taught them that people should be treated the same regardless of race. Yet only 37 percent say they were brought up in families that talked about race.
A writer for Slate, deeply upset by these results, explained that millennials misunderstand racism.
It’s not about the “different treatment” of some groups, says Jamelle Bouie, but about “white supremacy.” Bouie concludes: “As such, their views on racism . . . are muddled and confused . . . A generation that hates racism but chooses colorblindness is a generation that, through its neglect, comes to perpetuate it.”
The idea that millennials will perpetuate racism via colorblindness is, of course, idiotic on many levels. Their colorblindness, for instance, has led to unprecedented rates of interracial marriage.
Less than 7 percent of newly married couples reported marrying outside their race or ethnicity in 1980; the figure jumped to almost 15 percent in 2008, according to Pew.
Okay so interracial marriage has increased by over 100% but let’s be honest — 15% of marriages is still a MINORITY. Just because 15% of married people have allowed love to help them become more accepting and tolerant of people who are different is a far cry from colorblindness. Oh and it’s pretty sad that when a black author (someone who probably has some degree of life experience on the subject) took issue with MTV’s survey — did Riley have to call him an idiot? Seriously, ho sit down.
We were probably most offended by her attack on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ brilliantly composed “Case For Reparations” cover story — which she maligns as “liberal baby boomer racial narrative.” Not only does she reduce his work as “nothing new” (beyotch, that isht is a HISTORY lesson to plenty of ignorant folks who have no idea the obstacles people of color have faced in America) she again turns to ridicule and dismisses his call for a commission to study the effects of slavery and remedies for it:
The author, Ta-Nehisi Coates, has been called the “single best writer on the subject of race in the United States,” and this is the best idea he can come up with?
For all the thousands of words spilled on the tired idea of reparations, though, Coates isn’t willing to get into any specifics.
He wants us to pass HR-40, a bill that has been introduced by Rep. John Conyers every year for the past quarter-century, to launch a commission to study the lingering effects of slavery and possible remedies for it.
That’s the progress achieved in all these decades of dialogue? Please don’t tell me more.
That’s the condensed version, but in all honesty we’d rather you read Coates’ story than Riley’s ignorant, rude, name calling and attempt to reduce discourse about race to unproductive drivel.
That said, do you think her argument has any validity or should we just call for a public apology for Coates and Bouie or simply boycott the Post until they stop running her work?