Competing views on racism

David Brooks and Bob Herbert both have articles in the NYT about the role race is playing in the health-care debate.  Each of them reaches a completely different conclusion.

On this occasion I find myself leaning towards Herbert.  I don’t think every person who opposes Obama’s health care proposal, or Obama himself is racist, but I do think the fringe has been allowed to move closer to the center of power and the Republican party platform.  Ever since Nixon’s Southern strategy, the republican party has consciously exploited and encouraged racial anxiety amongst white Americans (of course, Southern democrats did the same thing quite well prior to LBJ).

The Rubber Room

Steven Brill writes in the New Yorker about the Rubber Room, a group of facilities where NYC teachers who are undergoing disciplinary proceedings and not authorized to teach spend their days while collecting full salaries, for months and years on end. The whole thing makes no sense, but is an illustration of special interests holding taxpayer resources hostage.

Ira Glass and the team at This American Life aired an episode about the rubber room earlier this year.

Occassionaly, I want to share something with the world.