We reached out to several friends of the magazine to respond to Obama's big speech in Philadelphia today. Here's what John McWhorter, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, had to say. In his speech in Philadelphia this morning, Barack Obama revealed that he is most definitely his own man. Those who have found Obama's statements of dissociation from his pastor Jeremiah Wright's statements a tad studious must now be satisfied. This time, Obama did not rest with incendiary and divisive--words which harbor potential toleration (i.e.
In the newest issue of the magazine, fourteen eggheads and eminences wrote short essays announcing whom they’d be voting for and why. We’ll be unveiling these responses on The Plank throughout the next two weeks. This is what John McWhorter, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, had to say: Two summers ago, I wrote that the main reason for the excitement over Barack Obama was whites piggybacking on him to prove their non-racist bona fides. I still believe that this was true at the time, when he was a littleknown quantity. However, since then, we've gotten to know him better.
Two summers ago, I wrote that the main reason for the excitement over Barack Obama was whites piggybacking on him to prove their non-racist bona fides. I still believe that this was true at the time, when he was a littleknown quantity. However, since then, we've gotten to know him better. I like what I have seen, and I would like him to be the next president. Ironically, his color has a lot to do with that decision.It's not the only reason, of course. After eight years of a president disinclined to reflection, we could use one given to weighing all sides of an issue.
I know this is the week we are supposed to be thinking about 9/11. I am, and I'll get to it. But as a linguist, I cannot help also mourning that Alex the parrot died last week. He lived at Brandeis University in the lab of psychologist Irene Pepperberg. Many linguists think of language as the result of a genetic mutation unique to humans, but Alex challenged that idea. He knew over a hundred words, and was even given to saying things like "I love you" at the appropriate times!
The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter (Alfred A. Knopf, 672 pp., $26.95) But for the fact that he has written a novel, Stephen L. Carter is not a novelist. He is a professor of law at Yale who made his debut in 1991 with a lively and candid book called Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, a sober exploration of affirmative action and its effect on his life.
A Song Flung Up to Heaven by Maya Angelou (Random House, 256 pp., $23.95) Click here to purchase the book. I.When I was in college in the early 1980s, the black folksinger Odetta was invited to campus to perform. Clad in African garb and accompanying herself on the guitar, she weaved together inspirational songs and savory anecdotes garnished with ancient wisdom. She rocked the house, the young and mostly white students delighted to be sitting at the feet of a black Earth goddess "telling it like it is." I thought I had a good time.
Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word by Randall Kennedy (Pantheon, 226 pp., $22) Click here to purchase the book.No white person calls me "nigger," at least not when I am around. The white people with whom I come into contact seem aware that the word is today "the filthiest, dirtiest, nastiest word in the English language," as Christopher Darden put it during the O.J. Simpson trial. I know "nigger" mainly as an affectionate in-group term favored especially by black men.
The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks by Randall Robinson (Plume, 262 pp., $13) I can buy a big house in an exclusive neighborhood. I can buy a fancy car or two. I can send my kids to private school. I can work hard and empower myself. Oprah Winfrey pulled herself up by the bootstraps.