Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Obama Bargain

Read the following article and respond (referencing class discussion and/or BDSMN is always smiled upon):

BDSMN - Epilogue

You may respond to the following or a quotation of your choice:

In the epilogue Tyson says, "we want to transcend our history without actually confronting it" (318). What does this mean? How is a national confrontation of our history possible? What prevents this catharsis? What is to be gained from such a process?
Later Tyson comments, "America owes a debt that no one can pay, and yet it probably remains what Lincoln called 'the last, best hope' of human freedom.... And the enduring chasm of race is still with us, in some ways wider than ever." (320). How do you reconcile these statements? Tyson wrote his exporation before Barack Obama (and Reverend Wright) became figures of wide, national prominence. Like Tyson, Obama (both Barack and Michelle) have invoked the notion of hope. How do you understand hope in the context of United States - both domestically and internationally?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction

Can acceptance of cultural inferiority be overcome? Compare the examples that Zinn cites with other examples of justification for racist attitudes and behavior that you have encountered.
How can the reality of slavery (as it was to a human being who lived inside it) ever really be described? Are the conditions of slavery as important as the existence of slavery?


What issues (both short and long term) need to be addressed?
What other issues do you assume exist?
Who is capable of and responsible for addressing them?
What are the priorities of reconstruction? Who decides what the priorities are?
Who or what is expendable or can be sacrificed in this process?
How can you measure the efficacy or success of the recovery plan?