Friday, October 02, 2015

Gladwell optimism hits a sour note

I hold no brief for Malcolm Gladwell. He is an entertainer masquerading as a scholar.  But optimism is his stock in trade.  But optimism about the fate of blacks is not allowed, apparently.  Only moaning about black oppression is allowed -- JR

Katrina does more than evoke a critical understanding of institutional racism and the politics of racial disposability; it also elicits new and more dangerous justifications for racist policies. For instance, the neoliberal shill Malcolm Gladwell reaches a new low with his piece on Katrina titled Starting Over which was published in The New Yorker. He argues that for many of the 100,000 poor blacks displaced by the storm involuntary displacement was a good thing because it opened up new opportunities for upward mobility for them and provided a model for public policy.

When Barbara Bush uttered a similar statement after Katrina, she was condemned roundly in the press for being morally insensitive. Greeting displaced Katrina victims in Houston in the aftermath of the hurricane and forced evacuations, she exclaimed “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this – this is working very well for them.”

Barbara Bush’s insensitivity was viewed by many in the black community as a justification for a form of state violence and symptomatic of the racism that dominated her son’s presidency. Yet in Obama’s post-racial America, Gladwell’s racist creed provokes no moral outrage and is published without a touch of irony or a shred of historical consciousness.



Anonymous said...

The Politically Correct crowd jumps to attack without giving thought.

Anonymous said...

Actually the displacement of these blacks has dramatically helped democrats in Texas, Oklahoma, and the other areas they were moved to by changing the demographics. In Houston where there was low unemployment some of the displaced blacks have found jobs which will help them in the long run but many still want to be victims on the government dole and Texas democrats are banking on them.


Bird of Paradise said...

The PC crowd always looking for something to complain about their never satisfied