“If it keeps up like this, within twenty to thirty years we’re [America] going to be like Africa. We’re going to be living in little mud huts, drinking whatever water we can find floating across the road.” Lisa Gentner of Moberly, Missouri: The Betrayal of the American Dream by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele
And I was really looking forward to reading this. Funny, I’ve seen two news segments with these authors totaling at least an hour and a half. Not once did I hear the interviewers question this particular quote. They did not read the book? Or did they read it and think no big deal? What about the publishing house, PublicAffairs, and its Founder/Editor-At-Large Peter Osnos? Was there any thought given to how this incredibly insensitive remark might piss some folks off? Or did they analyse the demographics of the audience and conclude, like a bad basketball referee, no blood no foul? Hell, it’s on page twenty-seven in the very first chapter titled Assault on the Middle Class. Hit me like a ton of bricks, could not possibly read past that point (even at the online discount price of $27).
So here we are once again at that post-racial crossroad. On one side are the people who truly believe that race has nothing to do with anything in today’s society, and one person’s comment was nothing more than maybe a bad analogy. Yes, perhaps a more thoughtful response would have been preferred. Than there are those who will say this is just more proof that regardless of the content racism is alive and well, used by folks like the Tea Party to enrich themselves and excuse their troubles away (check out Richard Wolff “The Walmart Success Story” & Cornel West “Niggarization of America”).
By the way I have no idea what race, creed or color Ms. Gentner is. It really doesn’t matter because what sticks out like a sore thumb is the lack of knowledge. Simply stated a person of understanding would never say that about Africa publicly, while a person of conscience would never leave it to print or promote without a challenge. I lay my cast on the side of conscience because like Lawrence Ferlinghetti:
“Pity the Nation-oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode and their freedoms to be washed away…”
Oh well, have to keep it moving. But still looking for some economic nourishment; maybe Paul Krugman’s book End This Depression Now! will be the right substitute.
“Signed…An Educated Brother! “