Day By Day

Monday, March 06, 2006

Brokeback Mountain Crashes

Ever since the OJ trial it has happened with depressing regularity. Feminists and/or gays make a big issue out of something and try to browbeat the mainstream culture into accepting their agenda, and they have some success with media elites -- until eventually their claims and demands run up against the race card. This year it was the gay sheepherder movie, "Brokeback Mountain" which was supposed to win the academy award for best picture and mark the magic moment when homosexuals would at last be fully accepted into the mainstream. Sorry, guys, race relations won again. "Crash," a race-themed film, walked away with the little gold guy.

The theme of racial antagonism and black oppression is mainstream, a standard piece of our mental furniture with which we have all become comfortable. In the minds of many it almost defines the mainstream. Blacks have, over the course of more than half a century, carved out for themselves a place in our common culture, but it is as sympathetic adversaries and antagonists.

In large part this is their own fault. Black leadership has, for as long as most people can remember, cast every discussion of race in adversarial tones. But whites have been all too willing to accept that context and have been unwilling to hold the race hustlers to account.

Perhaps the next generation coming up, if they can overcome their elders' prescriptions of what are acceptable attitudes, will be able to move beyond the current cultural stasis. But until that happens, the culture of racial adversity will continue to crowd out all other claims to priority in the neverending quest for the chimera of social justice.

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