January 30, 2016

KEVIN WILLIAMSON ON OSCARS AND AFRICAN AMERICANS:

There is a certain irony to our historical moment: At the very moment when a black American family has reached the apex of American social life — the presidency, and a cute movie about their first date! — African Americans are as a group experiencing a stressful disorientation: The racial dynamic in the United States was, for many years, effectively binary. Not any more. In an increasingly multiracial society whose most prestigious institutions are truly global, African Americans are no longer the moral yardstick by which the American commitment to our liberal founding ideals is measured. In 30 years, it very well may be the case that African Americans are no more of a significant interest group than Vietnamese Americans or Norwegian Americans, and the social and economic success of Nigerian American immigrant families, among others, complicates the meaning of “African American” as a concept, in that these communities are likely to maintain a certain distinctiveness that renders “black” devoid of clear meaning.

That is a big, attractive lever for the Al Sharptons of the world to let go of, which is why we’ll see more #BlackLivesMatter and #OscarsSoWhite rather than less, even as the question becomes less significant nationally.

Read the whole thing.

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