Torn in two directions

Yesterday I was on Mark Thompson’s radio show “Make It Plain”, on SIRIUS Left channel 146*. Mark is a black intellectual who focuses on social justice, and had me on to discuss the C&L piece I wrote about half of Americans saying they’d never retire.

Naturally, we got into related topics and one caller wanted to say how upset he was about this racist email that Orange County GOP official sent. A couple of the callers said they weren’t happy with Obama’s performance, but that the black community felt they had to close ranks to protect the president when he’s the target of racist attacks. (Which, as you know, is always.)

As a white person, I get to have the luxury of feeling perfectly comfortable defending Obama from racism one minute — and attacking his policies the next. I know that. But I think it’s important to encourage the AA base to force themselves to do that, too. Otherwise, they’re reduced to tribal voting without real representation on the issues.

When I mentioned that the unemployment rate in the inner city was 22%, a caller from NYC said in New York, it was 55% for black men. “So if I lose the job I have, that means I’m not going to get another one,” he said. Oy.

Anyway, interesting show (when it comes to subscription radio, I know nada). I’d love to do it again.

*More info: SIRIUS 146, 5-8p ET & XM 167, 6-9p ET

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