I’m kind of sysed about Skip Gates new project, the online black webzine called “The Root”. And I’m not just saying that because JJP is on the blogroll!

According to the Times, it’s owned by the WaPo. I’m already kind of digging the “Call and Response” format of their “Down from the Tower” blog, which features debates between Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Marc Lamont Hill. 

Also, you have to love Kai Wright going after the self-congradulatory impulse in the American reaction to Barack Obama’s candidacy:

If only it were so. Glossing over race isn’t the same as making it irrelevant, and the prospect of Obama successfully selling himself as America’s first race-neutral president should worry black folks just as much as the Clintons’ desperate race-baiting. Because, for all the recent talk about race and change, neither Obama nor Clinton is prepared to dispel the real “fairy tale” of this campaign: that America is even remotely ready to let go of its baggage about race. That black people have healed from past and present hurts. That white people are ready to relinquish their privilege. That we have overcome.

I mostly agree with Wright, but I don’t think Obama has made himself race-neutral, or that is his intent. I don’t think Obama would say that was even possible. He is trying to neutralize the ways race might be used to attack his candidacy by making mostly veiled references to race, but I hear him talking about it all the time.

At any rate, I think Wright is correct to be uncomfortable about the fact that many whites see Obama as “transcending race” rather than painstakingly navigating it. The latter would require an admission of the vital role race still plays in America.

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