To explain the complex, finely tuned relationship between blacks and whites in the south is beyond the power of human language and far too elusive for the clumsy antiseptic tools of modern social science or the mercenary cliches of the media. Such an explanation would have to include the the panorama of an entire civilization brought low in blood and fire by its own sinful action. It would have to show how blacks and whites clawed the dirt together for potatoes or corn. It would have to heed the pain of Jim Crow, but also exult in the grit and brains of George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington, along with the writings of William Faulkner, who well understood how unintelligible his native country would be to future generations. He foresaw they would squeeze out simplistic, black and white, finger-pointing answers that would miss the  mark.


2 thoughts on “Explanations

  1. Insightful. As always, like your turn of phrase, such as “the mercenary clichés of the media.”

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