Today’s selection of articles:
- “The long reach of racism in the U.S.” by Orlando Patterson (Wall Street Journal, 2020-06-05). Patterson cites failed racial integration in private life, poverty disproportionately high among blacks, “a hard core of racist Americans”, and “mass incarceration in America”. He observes that from the beginning, American law codified “the exclusion of slaves [and later free blacks and other “undesirables”] from any recognition as legitimate members of the community”. “Those who are thought not to belong are too often viewed as an enemy”, Patterson writes. See MLK’s comments about the enemy and the brother in “Beyond Vietnam” (below).
- “Violent protest and the intelligentsia” by Barton Swaim (Wall Street Journal, 2020-06-05). Russian literature professor Gary Saul Morson observes cautious (and, he admits, quite possible concocted) similarities between America’s educated young today and Russia’s educated young in the early 1900s. Reading this article after MLK’s speech “Beyond Vietnam” (see below), I noted two statements: (1) “the rationalization…of violence” and (2) individuals and groups who “did not condone terrorism…[b]ut they refused to condemn it”. These statements cut both ways — all ways. Are not individuals within “the state” and “the establishment” as capable of rationalization and silent consent as the “left-wing elite” chastised in the article?
- “Beyond Vietnam” by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967-04-04). Audio and transcript.