John L. Jackson, Jr. has a message for the Tea Party, NAACP, Birthers, pro- and anti- “Ground Zero” mosque protestors, and anyone else engaging in heated race-related talk.
Dr. Jackson, the Richard Perry University Professor of Anthropology and Communication, has vowed to avoid discussion of race in any circumstances. He made that promise in the blog, Brainstorm, which appears this week in the website for The Chronicle of Higher Education, and in his own blog, From the Annals of Anthroman.
“Race Cardiologists have been howling extra loudly these days, declaiming Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration, and Obama himself, and the liberal media for crying wolf.”
Not a day seems to go by without talk of race relations in the news. For the past several months the news has been flooded with accusations by the Tea Party against the NAACP and vice versa, “Birther” splinter groups are accusing President Obama of being Muslum, radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is stepping down from her job because of excessive use of the “N-word” on her radio program, and racial tensions are outpouring from plans to build a mosque within three blocks of Ground Zero in New York City.
Dr. Jackson has written extensively about race in America (Racial Paranoia: the Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness), and is working on a project titled “Global Black Hebrewism,” about a group of African Americans who left Chicago in the 1960s and moved to Israel. Of today’s hypersensitive racial talk, Dr. Jackson says enough is enough.
“For the next 40 days, until October rolls around, I will try my hand at not talking about race or racism at all. In fact, I will try my best not to see race/racism anywhere. It'll take discipline, but I won't even think about it (if I can help it),” Dr. Jackson wrote. “With Reality TV as inspiration, I'll make a public display of my efforts. In the spirit of something like Morgan Spurlock's 2004 documentary ‘Super Size Me,’ where he spends a month eating nothing but McDonald's fast food, I will spend a month (and a few more days) not seeing race/racism under any circumstances, not matter what.”
“Who will join me? And what will we prove? What might we learn? Super Size me! I mean, eracefy me!”