Wednesday, April 10, 2002

When was the last time you used the word pusillanimously in a sentence? If you'd like to read it in a sentence, then surf on over to John McWhorter's article on reparations in the City Journal. In case you're not familiar with McWhorter, he's an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language and Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America. McWhorter is extremely bright and belongs to the ever increasing, yet still unpopular, group of politically conservative black leaders who refuse to sign on to the agenda of victimhood and liberal social and economic policy so often touted by the likes of Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson. Here's how McWhorter closes his article:

What ails the black community today is the very illusion that holds the reparations gang in thrall—that serious black achievement is impossible except under ideal conditions, that white neglect must be at the root of any black-white disparity, and that only the actions of whites can significantly improve the conditions of blacks.

You can also hear McWhorter debate the merits of reparations on NPR's Talk of the Nation with Richard Newman (pro-reparations) who is the Director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard.

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