I usually try to stay away from political discussions. That’s an odd thing, considering that I not only have a degree in political science (which, does not in any way qualify me to speak with authority about anything), but I truly get off watching politics and the political process. As a matter of fact, I’ve made it my habit to avoid any serious discussion about anything that I love or enjoy doing. I suppose there’s some head shrinker’s couch waiting for me somewhere. But what’s got me, is the fact that everyone else seems to have an opinion about what’s going on out there in Washington, and are freely expressing themselves — for better or for worse — all over talk radio, web logs, and at bus stops. I’m the weirdo who dodges political conversations (for god knows what real reason). Which , by the way, is why I haven’t really said anything about our new Commander-in-Chief. If asked my opinion, I give my standard agnostic “we’ll have to see”. Meanwhile, I’m screaming a mile a minute inside my head all sorts of madness about Right-wing conspiracies, failed economic policies, and whether Plato had the right idea when he said that the rulers should lie to the public. As so many of my thoughts are motivated by conversations, I was thinking about how I felt — not about whether I think that Obama will solve our economic troubles ( it sounds so trivial to call an impending global depression “troubles”), but about the man himself. A few days ago, I was watching “the View”. Ann Coulter was on (god knows why) expressing her confusion over half-black notables who, despite being abandoned by their black fathers, seem to claim their black heritage while also abandoning their white parentage. I’m not going to say anything about Ann Coulter here, as there are lany people who rattle on about her in a negative manner. But, she did give a little food for thought. The food for me, it seems, wasn’t why halfsies only claim one side, but the idea of half-whatevers at all. I thought of an email I sent to a friend not too long ago that brought up the topic of race mixing. Let me say now that I’m not against the mixing of races. I don’t care who anyone marries as long as they are past the age of consent and the marriage wasn’t some sort of forced marriage deal. That said, there are times when the well-intentioned can say things that… well, make you stop wondering why there are Ann Coulter’s out there. A few months back, when the primaries were going on, I had a discussion with two other people about, which was at that time, the Obama candidacy. Ever the pessimist, I said that I was worried that some yahoo out there might want or attempt to do “something” to prevent Obama from taking the presidency. My conversation mates and I lamented the fact the the thought that someone may be so disturbed by having a black president to take up violent action had crossed each of our minds — a sign that we are not as far from racism as we may like to think that we are. Somewhere, and I forget who, someone mentioned something about Obama’s half white parentage. Now that I think about it, I think I mentioned the fact that hating Obama because he is black is sort of stupid because he isn’t a fully black person. (I know, liberal drivel about we’re all mixed anyway, blah, blah, blah…). I mentioned that I have several “goobacks” in my own family. (“gooback” is a term from the show South Park. It was used to describe people from the future who had interbred racially to the point that everyone had a tannish hue to their skin). Now, I consider myself a liberal. I’m into acceptance, not tolerance. I have no problem with the fact that my brother has chosen to create his own colony of goobacks, and as an American keenly aware of our past, I know that my own bloodline isn’t “pure”. But, there’s a sentiment that I just cannot stand, and I heard it out of the mouth of one of my conversation mates. It’s this: WE SHOULD ALL INTERBREED SO THAT WE GET SO MIXED UP RACIALLY THAT THERE WOULD BE NO WAY TO DISTINGUISH ONE RACE FROM ANOTHER AND SO WE’D END RACISM. Huh? You know, I’ve only heard this sentiment from the mouths of people who, although they express this truly endearing sentiment, never seem to live by the statement themselves.Or, worse yet, are the most racially isolated people that one would find. Now, I’m not saying that my conversation mate fits into either one of these categories, but from what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they did. It’s not even that the idea is wrong-headded or immoral. It’s a perfectly good solution for a problem. In the absence of specific breeds, we can’t discriminate against something that does not exist. I wanted, at that time, to ask that person who suggested that we all interbreed ( as that individual was a different race than I) if that person wanted to get down an start muddying up our gene pools right then and there. But, what overrode my sense of taking that person seriously was my disgust at what they had said. Sure, the sentiment seems like it’s from someone who is anti-racist. But that’s just it — it’s a sentimental, but ultimately meaningless statement. It’s empty in the face that it’s just not practicable. Unless you have some sort of forced reproduction program, my email friend wrote to me, people won’t voluntarily interbreed with anyone. What about those who are “pure” ? Will they become some sort of social outcasts? Will they be illegal? There’s this Dr. Seuss story called “the Sneetches”. There are two groups of sneetches, one who have stars on their stomachs, and those who do not. The ones with “stars on thars” are the superior sneetches and those who do not are inferior. As with life, those who do not have want, and those who do have don’t want the have-nots to have what they have. It all goes to shit when this dude comes around with a machine that can put stars on the non-starred sneetches. Pretty soon, no one can tell who is who. In the end, they realize that the stars don’t matter. Unfortunately, people don’t learn like Dr. Seuss characters do. Given a world of sameness, the inventive human will always find something. If not your race, then it’s your height, or weight, or you’re too cute, or not cute enough — always something. That’s why I found my conversation mate’s remark so offputting. It’s a cya thing to say. The worst of political correctness. Saying that we should breed out race sounds like you’re one of the ones who isn’t secretly carrying a confederate flag in his pocket, but, in turn, it reeks of the worst ersatz naivete well-meaning liberals often express. The kind that solves the problem by ignoring the problem. Instead of really confronting the reason behind something like racism, the response is to pretty up the situation by suggesting some kind of well-meaning, but unobtainable solution, that could happen, if people would only enlighten themselves or, more to the point, reject conservativism and become pacifica-listening progressives. I think I’m done with this one.