Prof. Gerald Early of Washington University recently wrote, “Many of us black professionals, members of the black elite, keep the embers of our victimization burning for opportunistic reasons: to lev-erage white patronage, to maintain our own sense of identity and tradition. In some respects, this narrative has something of the power in it endurance that original sin does for Christians. In fact, our narrative of victimization is America’s original sin, or what we want to serve as the country’s original sin, which may be why we refuse to give it up.” Continuing he writes, “We have used it shamelessly—especially those who are least entitled to do so, as we have suffered the least—hustled it to get over on whites, to milk their guilt, to excuse our excesses and failures. Being the victim justifies all ethical lapses, as the victim has turned into a sucker’s game, the only possible game that the weak can play against the strong with any chance of winning.”
The work calls for a janus-like look at this era of post-modernity. It reaches toward but does not touch. The very same conclusions can well be reached by spending the hours looking out of the window with bird book in hand.
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