by Whet Moser
I thought all the stuff about Obama's victory and the end of racism was standard-issue bad journalism, but it turns out I was wrong. Not only are we not racist anymore, it turns out journalists of my generation are so past racism we can't remember what the big deal was about it:
"This morning I was thinking about the white man who tried to take Rosa Parks' seat. What was he thinking?
"I've been trying to picture really fairly alien thoughts. Being a white person in Montgomery, Alabama in the late 1950s, tired from a very long day at a job that probably wasn't very interesting--the people with the easy jobs, one presumes, were already driving themselves.
"Who was a man who would walk up to a seamstress in her fifties and demand that she give up her seat so he could take it? I mean, we've all fantasized about being able to do it, on a bad day--to somehow steal a seat from someone who couldn't need the rest as much as our puffy feet. But who could actually exercise that power? Thousands of people across the south every day, and they can't all have been actually evil people."
Institutional racism: it was all about convenience. Clearly people wanted to keep James Meredith out of the University of Mississippi because they were concerned about class size.