- The Washington Times - Monday, January 19, 2009

End of race game

“The way that our almost new president dealt with the old fashioned race hustle enunciated by Bobby Rush at a press conference held by … Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Roland Burris, his selection to replace Obama in the Senate, is highly instructive.

“Rush, the nearly toothless former Black Panther who fled the field of battle bullets for the high and low rhetoric of electoral politics, made a very weak case for Burris. It was so moldy that every sentence seemed either green or to have white hair growing from it. Rush interpreted the threat to not seat Burris made by Harry Reid and the Democrats as being somehow analogous to Bull Connor releasing the dogs and letting loose the fire hoses on civil rights workers in Birmingham! …

“Those are the old race and quota politics that will surely die a very slow death but that Obama addressed by not addressing them. He merely let Harry Reid know that Burris was a squeaky clean guy and that seating him would put the controversy, Blagojevich, and Rush’s fossil mentality behind them. …

“The train of history had obviously passed Rush by and was disappearing into a tunnel of actual power that he obviously does not understand. This new power is not based in manipulative ploys intended to set white guilt afire.”

Stanley Crouch, writing on “Obama’s Week of Brilliant Stunts,” on Jan. 17 at the Daily Beast

End of subtlety

“[Andrew] Wyeth conveyed parts of American life that were at once bleak and beautiful. His scenes were simple, never ornate. Where Norman Rockwell thrived on drawing the little trinkets that would appear on a teacher’s desk, Wyeth preferred to draw some grass and the shadows that fall upon dried-out wood.

“He played with shadows in a way that rivaled Edward Hopper, but it seemed like a different austerity entirely - where Hopper was curious about how light could hit a building, Wyeth seemed focused on how the light left it, or how things generally were left after being touched. It’s not that his work was a study of ruin. Instead, it was the study of subtleties.

“Art rooted in subtlety, art that doesn’t beat you over the head with a message. The subtlety of art today comes in its abstraction, in its impenetrability. It’s so subtle you can’t get it, because it’s hidden from you. And then it’s still loud.”

J. Peter Freire, writing on “Andrew Wyeth, RIP,” on Jan. 16 at the American Spectator

End of whites

“Obviously, steadily ascending rates of interracial marriage complicate this picture, pointing toward what Michael Lind has described as the ‘beiging’ of America. And it’s possible that ‘beige Americans’ will self-identify as ‘white’ in sufficient numbers to push the tipping point further into the future than the Census Bureau projects.

“But even if they do, whiteness will be a label adopted out of convenience and even indifference, rather than aspiration and necessity. For an earlier generation of minorities and immigrants, to be recognized as a ‘white American,’ whether you were an Italian or a Pole or a Hungarian, was to enter the mainstream of American life.

“Today, the picture is far more complex. To take the most obvious example, whiteness is no longer a precondition for entry into the highest levels of public office. The son of Indian immigrants doesn’t have to become ‘white’ in order to be elected governor of Louisiana. A half-Kenyan, half-Kansan politician can self-identify as black and be elected president of the United States.”

Hua Hsu, writing on “The End of White America,” in the January-February issue of the Atlantic

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