by H. Millard © 2008

The Los Angeles Times had a recent editorial “Obama on race,” in which the Times had this subhead: “His speech proved to be that rarity in American politics--a serious discussion of race.”


Barack Obama not only failed to scratch the surface about race, he didn’t even rub it very hard. I watched his speech and also followed along with a hard copy and it was just a shallow political speech. 

Of course, to give Obama his due, one would not expect a politician to try to offer a serious discussion of race in a political speech.

Such discussions are better aimed at people who know a little about the subject, or who are at least willing to learn something. They’re not the stuff of TV speeches that require quick sound bites before millions of people who often don’t know the first thing about the subject, and who have often been conditioned to believe that “race doesn’t exist” because, as is so vacuously and stupidly said, we all bleed red blood.

If you don’t get it, then just translate Obama’s speech about race into terms of automobiles and you would have had a 37 minute speech telling us no more than that there are different makes of cars and some have this kind of tail light and some have this kind, but underneath we are all automobiles. Hardly a serious discussion of automobiles. 

No serious discussion of the sociological aspects of race--which is what Obama was attempting--can even begin unless there is a serious pre-discussion about how life began on Earth and about DNA and how the constant shuffling of just four chemicals abbreviated A,T,C and G make up the blueprints for all animal and plant life of which we are aware.

And a serious discussion would have touched a little on the twenty to as many as sixty thousand genes (the most accepted estimate range as of this writing) that humans carry and how they’re clustered on 46 chromosomes and how each parent contributes 23 chromosomes and how a new life is begun the moment the 23 chromosomes from the father and the 23 chromosomes from the mother join, and it would have mentioned genotypes (our internal blueprint) and phenotypes (the result of that internal blueprint) and why Obama, with a white mother and a black father, is not really half white and half black, but  black (recessive vs. dominant genes) and why Obama is lighter than his father and could not possibly have turned out as dark as his father or as light as his mother (skin tone is one of the few genetic traits that is truly blended).

And a serious discussion of race would discuss adaptation, mutations, evolution and even why natural selection favors white skin in northern climes and darker skin in southern climes (Vitamin D absorption) and about how humans are a little like Darwin’s finches in that geographic and reproductive isolation along with other factors mentioned above, caused the formation of races of humans as just a step along the path to eventual speciesization.

And a serious discussion would have told listeners that race is real, just as genes are real, and that race is to humans what breed is to dogs and that it is not “racism” to actually and honestly discuss race and all of these things.

And a serious discussion of race would not try to deny nature, but seek to have people understand it, and it would have discussed why different medicines work in different ways in different races and how enlightened medical science is now taking race into account instead of pretending it doesn’t exist.

And that’s just for starters. But, such pedantry is not the proper stuff of political speeches and it would put many to sleep if a politician did try to discuss such things.

Furthermore, it doesn’t appear that Americans really want a serious discussion about race. They want to hear the usual PC propaganda that says that races don’t exist. And, they want to be told that if their eyes tell them differently, their eyes are lying.

Indeed, Americans have come to falsely believe that talking about differences is the equivalent of hate and racism. In such an atmosphere, which is the modern equivalent of the once universally held belief that the earth is the center of the solar system, no serious discussion of race can occur.

So, we discuss race as though we’re trying not to look at what too many people consider to be a wart on the other person’s nose instead of considering race as just part of the constant tinkering that nature does with life as we spin endlessly through the cosmos.  

Racial differences are not defects, they are just differences, yet we wrongly genuflect before this sacred cow we call race as though it deserves more respect than we would give to any other aspect of nature.

When we can look at human beings as we look at the rest of nature, then we’ll be able to have a serious discussion about race. At that time we should be mature enough to calmly accept the reality of differences as the adaptations that they truly are.     

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Ourselves Alone & Homeless Jack's Religion  

Ourselves Alone & Homeless Jack's Religion
messages of ennui and meaning in post-american america by H. Millard

In Ourselves Alone and Homeless Jack's Religion, H. Millard, the hard to pigeonhole author of The Outsider and Roaming the Wastelands, has put together some of his category bending commentaries on post-American America. The commentaries deal with politics, philosophy, free speech, genocide, religion and other topics in Millard's edgy style and lead up to Homeless Jack's Religion, in which Homeless Jack lays out revelations he found in a dumpster on skid row. Browse Before You Buy ISBN: 0-595-32646-3

Roaming the Wastelands  

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The Outsider  

THE OUTSIDER - (ISBN: 0-595-19424-9)
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