This is dangerous. I am writing this as I post or posting this as I write, unsure which is correct.
I worry for America. We seem to have lost not only our morality and conscience, but our cohesion as a people. Not to overplay it, but I remember an America of the fifties and early sixties where most of us danced to the same beat, or at least condescended to each other's beat.
I was just on an AOL blog about Obama's reckless statements about blacks and a "quiet riot." The talk was mostly hateful, to a large degree banal and of an ignorant bent.
The blacks were shouting (rhetorically speaking) at the whites and the whites were shouting at the blacks, dredging up all the old racial stereotypes. They were like children furiously screaming at each other on the playground, spittle flying, faces red. It was discouraging to say the least.
After all these years, we are still at the point where the slightest thing brings out the racist in many of us. I grew up in a racist environment, where blacks were viewed as third class citizens at best. I never attended school with a black person until I was in college (definitely dates me). And I must confess when I see certain behaviors my knee jerk reaction is to attribute it to race, then I always think of an example just as deplorable in my own race, and I seem to gain a level of perspective about it.
Somehow, someway, we have to get beyond all that. We all have to take responsibility for our own actions, something I believe more whites than blacks believe in. However, whites have no exclusivity to responsible behavior and blacks are certainly not predominantly irresponsible. In any case, a little humility and some simple humanity will go a long way toward healing and reconciliation. Jesus Christ had it right. Too bad the vast majority of us pay no more than lip service to his teaching.