Wont as I am to see the silver lining in every cloud, I can’t help but think that two recent racial episodes represent a sort of progress in racial relations.
In the Jena-6 case in Louisiana, a group of six black teenagers sucker-punched a white teenager and then kicked the crap out him while he lay unconscious on the ground. They did so after the white teenager made racially derogatory comments.
In the Duke non-rape case, a white, vote whoring D.A. framed a group of (mostly) upper-class white jocks for the rape of a black women. He appears to have been motivated by a desire to curry favor with local black voters.
Times have changed. Forty-years ago, black kids in a small deep-south town would never had stood up to white kids in a verbal pissing match and they certainly would not have dared to beat one of them up. Likewise, forty-years ago, a white politician would never have framed a white person in order to get black votes.
Contemporary touchy-feely culture teaches us to believe that people learn to live with one another through a moral evolution of understanding, acceptance and love. My more jaundiced view holds that people learn to live with one another when no single group holds enough power to dominate the others. People usually learn to live with one another only after beating each other into a bloody stalemate.
These two cases represent progress because both cases arise from the increase in real black power in our society. Of course, increased power means increased chances for abuse and, like all human being, blacks will fall prey to temptation. On the whole, however, I think we are gaining more than we are losing.