Tiger and Obama Tell Us: Get Past the Idea of ‘Race’

US Politics
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The fourth round of the Masters starts in an hour or so and Tiger is right where he wants to be, a stroke off the lead. Meantime Obama is stalking Hillary in the money race.

The prominence of these two men in our public life is significant. Right now, everyone insists on calling them "half-black." As if racial categories were ironclad just a generation ago. They weren’t. There’s been mixing forever. The "science" of race that we grew up with, the books by Carlton Coon (hope that’s right) measuring nostrils and springiness of hair to demonstrate X number of races, is being torn apart by the genetic science that shows we’re all pretty similar, and Thomas Jefferson is in the woodpile. When Prince said, "I wish there was no black and white," he was expressing a universalist human impulse.

I’m not saying that this consciousness is winning. It isn’t. Not when Shi’a have been set against Sunni and Jew against Muslim in the Middle East. But it’s the leading edge in the affluent west. Just ask a smart young person. They despise all our wise racial divisions.

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