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Benign neglect

According to a clinical psychology experiment [1]carried out by some profs at Northwestern, whites who are fearful of appearing racially prejudiced tend to respond by avoiding contact with blacks. It’s the kind of result that rings intuitively true, and probably demonstrates that achieving some sort of post racial /color-blind society is a pretty distant goal. I happen to think American race relations are much better than they were 10 or 20 years ago. But maybe that’s simply because I used to live and work in New York City and my job involved a fair amount of reading and writing about racial issues, at a time when they were a main if not always explicitly acknowledged subject of the Koch/Dinkins/Giuliani mayoral contests. But part of the reason is that despite the Obama campaign, no one is talking about race very much, at least in comparison to the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. We may have inadvertently arrived at Daniel Moynihan’s recommendation [2] of a moratorium on soul-searching racial discussions. That’s probably the best thing, under the circumstances.