Three years ago, as President Barack Obama was winding up his second successful run for the Oval Office, The American Interest published a series of articles dealing with race and class in America. Looking back at it today, as Baltimore smolders under National Guard protection after an afternoon of riots shut the city down yesterday, we see that the essays’ points endure.From the Editor’s Note of our September/October 2012 issue:
We hope to prod conversation by probing the changing sociology of the American black community, by reviewing the failure and promise of attempts to attenuate inner-city poverty and abjection, by looking at institutions of national black leadership, and by assessing the challenge of primary education in inner-city schools. We cover a good deal of American history in the process, and look back on one of the most widely acclaimed television series on race in America. We want at a minimum to incite some reflection.
The Last Compromise
Walter Russell Mead
The history of race in America has been one of a series of “great compromises”, from the Founding up to the election of Barack Obama. There are signs that the latest compromise is breaking down.
The HBO television series The Wire, which aired between 2002 and 2008, brought Americans face-to-face with the stubborn and disturbing reality of inner-city life.Black and White No Longer
Richard Thompson Ford
American society is neither post-racial nor stuck fast in a racist past, but fantasies of monolithic racial communities are distorting our national conversation on race and public policy.
Transcending the Poverty Industry
Robert L. Woodson, Sr.
Federal anti-poverty efforts have relied too heavily on solutions cooked up in academia and inside the Beltway. We already have plenty of proven programs—at the local level.
Whatever Became of the Raucous Caucus?
The Congressional Black Caucus is no longer the flamboyant organization it was at its birth in the late 1960s, but it’s still worth listening to.
Still Separate and Unequal
Rhena Catherine Jasey
America’s poorest students need extra educational resources just to keep pace with their more privileged peers. Instead, they get less—and teachers, principals and unions get blamed for the outcome.
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