Essay: The powers of Racial Example

The ghost of Tiresias told Ulysses to carry an oar upon his shoulder and walk inland until he met a traveler who did not know what an oar was. Thus Ulysses, exhausted by the sea, would recognize that he was safely home.

Some day, possibly, the American racial odyssey will end, and racial hatred, like the oar, will be an item of bafflement and curiosity: What was the point of all that, anyway? Why was it so fierce, so enduring?

In recent months, the nation has taken a few steps on the inland march. Some...

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