Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Debate squad meeting
Written by: Beck

I get a lot of email as a result of INCITE. Most of it is amazingly helpful, providing me with such things as opportunities to help politically oppressed widows of central African oil moguls get millions of dollars out of frozen bank accounts. Others are kind enough to provide me with an array of options to refinance my home (I always feel guilty about those, as they're so clearly trying to be helpful, but I live in an apartment), and some even provide--at a perfectly reasonable cost--all natural male enhancement. Fortunately, my maleness has no need of enhancing, but if it ever does, I'll know where to turn.

But more than anything else, I get emails from readers asking, "John, where can I find an excellent, thorough, and honest appraisal of issues facing race relations, with special emphasis on the motivations of conservatives who are minorities, and with arguments from both a conservative and liberal point of view?" In the past, my response has always been, "How did you find out my first name?" As of now, however, I'm happy to report that I can give a better answer.

Bloggers David Anderson of In Search of Utopia and Bo of Bo Knows have an enormous amount to say on the issue.

There's way too much to summarize without doing the debate a grave injustice, so I'll just point you to the three relevant posts at Anderson's site. First, Bo presents his conservative thoughts on the issue in an email to Anderson which can be found here.

Next, Anderson responds with his own thoughts in this post and then adds more in this post. There's probably 5000 words between the two of them all told, so go check it out when you've got some time to actually give the issue the consideration it deserves. Finally, a couple money quotes for you, just to give a flavor of why I think this discussion is important enough to link...

From conservative Bo:
Which brings me down to my original thought. Americans of all colors, races, creeds, etc., are in desperate need of a wake-up call. We've all gotten so used to the government being the answer to society's ills, we have forgotten how to fix things ourselves. Consider the runaway lawsuits as folks shirk off personal responsibility. Consider the government-mandated safety regulations and warning labels. Consider the fact that the public looks at guns as a cause of crime, rather than criminals. I think that's the root at which the black conservative voices are striking, but the way they do it leaves much to be desired. Respect isn't dependent upon skin color, but upon actions. Nobody of any color can act disrespectful of another person and expect to be respected in return. When we learn to behave respectfully towards all, we'll be able to respect each other, regardless of race. And government can't legislate respect.
And from liberal David Anderson:
The issue of race in America is not a simple one. And in fact it is one most people would rather not have. But it must be had... If we are ever to make any real progress on the issue it needs to be discussed, frankly, honestly and yes in some cases angrily. One of the things I learned since getting married is that issues are not solved by ignoring them or tiptoeing around them. Black people have some legitimate grievances with our country. And no I am not talking about Sharpton's, "40 Acres and a Mule." I am talking about inferior schools. I am talking about abuse by law enforcement that often creates a siege mentality in our neighborhoods. I am talking about a media that glorifies the gangsta while ignoring the successful business person. I am talking about a sense of despair and hopelessness that drives people to the easy solutions. I am talking about a Hollywood that provides little insight into the real lives of black people, while presenting us with the dual and equally odious stereotypes of the Supper Niggah or the Stepin Fettchit Sidekick.

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