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GLYNIS MOORE’S ANGRY REsponse (The Mail, 5/26) to Jonetta Rose Barras’ “Black Hole” (5/19) helps demonstrate the very problem Barras was writing about. Moore declares, “What is going on within our community is a “family affair.’ It is nobody else’s fucking business!”
As it happens, African-Americans are my neighbors, co-workers, and friends. The man I love most in this world is black. Most of our city’s elected leadership is black. We share a significant common history. All of this damn well makes it my business. Our various communities and destinies are inextricably intertwined.
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Moore views the black community monolithically: “All we need is one mind. One agenda. Mobilization. Unity. That is something that will be hard coming because of sellout motherfuckers like you!” Another inspiring fascist vision of freedom and justice.
Perhaps community is a useful fiction, as Gore Vidal says about God. Perhaps, as Edwin Clark writes in the letter following Moore’s, “Fragmentation has problematized the very notion of leadership.” But defining one’s terms in a way that shuts off discussion, as Moore does, only avoids confronting the reality behind our abstractions.
As our entire city faces the consequences of so many years of irresponsibility and self-delusion on the part of voters and their elected leaders, those who continue to plague our city with their poisonous politics of victimhood, entitlement, and racist double standards cannot expect the rest of us—black, white, or otherwise—to sit back and shut up about it.
Dupont Circle, via the Internet