Monday, December 16, 2002
Another great outtake from NRO on that conversation between Kathryn Jean Lopez and Michael Graham, author of Redneck Nation. Graham:
One of my favorite stories in the book is a Washington Post article written by Natalie Hopkinson, a black Post staffer who was upset that so many white people were moving into her neighborhood. D.C. is "Chocolate City," she insisted, and white people were ruining it by moving in.
"From our perspective," she wrote, "integration is overrated…We not only have to invest in the inner city, but we can't let white people beat us to it."
Her arguments could have come straight from the minutes of a "White Citizens Council" meeting from the 1960s, steeped as it was in racism, segregation, and imply intimidation ("We don't want your kind 'round here"). And the Post ran it!
When readers complained about this overtly segregationist screed, the Post ombudsman ran a piece explaining that (I'm paraphrasing) segregation is O.K. as long as black people like it. This inspired an even greater outcry. The values of 1960s liberalism — rationalism, merit, equal treatment under the law — are so dead, and the redneck values so prevalent that the Washington Post never saw the controversy coming.