The Corner

Re: By His Own Standard

Jason makes an interesting point when he mentions sharing Mark’s “alarm over the manner in which political correctness restricts the bounds of discourse and thought.” Of course, it does more than that. It also makes it extremely difficult to implement actual change. This paralysis is the subject of Harry Stein’s piece today in The Fortnightly Review:

All thoughtful people want to resolve America’s great historical ailment, racism. But one of the things we’ll have to do if that monumental
 enterprise is to have any chance of success is to address honestly the 
desperate condition of the urban underclass — not only because it is 
the right and moral thing to do, but because, as Daniel Patrick
 Moynihan so presciently observed, the pathologies that emerge there
 eventually take root throughout the rest of society.

I suspect Harry must know (and if not, he will soon discover) how difficult it is to “address honestly” issues touching on race. His next book, published next week, is called No Matter What . . . They’ll Call This Book Racist: How Our Fear of Talking Honestly about Race Hurts Us All. Does it ever.

Denis BoylesDennis Boyles is a writer, editor, former university lecturer, and the author/editor of several books of poetry, travel, history, criticism, and practical advice, including Superior, Nebraska (2008), Design Poetics (1975), ...


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