Pulitzer. I never experienced regional bigotry until I moved to Alabama. The reality of prejudgments about and stereotyping of Alabama have been common experiences. Jeny and I have observed the bigotry in the media and in person.
For example, Jeny was installing a computer system in a hospital in Connecticut. A young employee she was training looked perplexed. He finally asked her “Where did you say you were from?” Jeny replied “Alabama.” He said “That can’t be. My parents told me everyone from Alabama is stupid.” I tell this story so you will understand my pride in this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners.
We no longer have a newspaper. Our daily news comes through AL.com. The online paper is statewide and we get the Mobile version. This year, two AL.com commentators won Pulitzer Prizes. One, John Archibald, won his second and it was special for two reasons. First, he shared the honor with his son. Second, he helped a lot of poor people who thanked in in many ways.
Two Pulitzers is not bad for a state where “everyone is stupid.”
Jeff Bezos. Not everyone agrees with the idea that the growing division between the very rich and the rest of America is not a good thing. I happened to be concerned about the divide. I am not against capitalism. I am concerned that too great a divide will damage our country.
A friend sent me an email about the divide that shocked me. The email attempted to put the wealth of a single man in context. I may not do the article justice, but I will try.
According to the article, the median net worth of each family in America as around $118,000. Jeff Bezos has over 15 billion in cash, over 9 billion in personal assets and over 147 billion in publicly traded stock.
I will give a few examples to try to put that relationship in perspective. If the average person’s net worth is represented by the diameter of an Oreo cookie, Jeff Bezos’ net worth would be twice the width of the Grand Canyon. He has donated 1.2 % of his wealth. If he gave another .8 %, we could perform all of the emergency road and bridge repair needed in the United States. And last but not least, the average wage earner would have to work 4.5 million years to earn what he is worth.
The complete article can be found at: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/04/07/magazine/jeff-bezos-net-worth.html
Question 3. I have chosen to share McWorter’s book and thinking because he has a thoughtful critique of Woke racism. He presents evidence and sound arguments with examples.
He is not proposing book banning. He is not proposing the denial or cleansing of history. He is not promoting church bombing, as occurred in Ohio. In other words, he is not promoting knee-jerk emotional inappropriate responses to Wokeness.
He has written a critique of a view, some aspects of which he supports. I would like to see everyone be willing to criticize themselves and hold themselves and likeminded people accountable. The easy thing is to find fault in others.
McWorter’s third question is “Are we going to let them continue?” He was very careful not to stereotype who are “them.” The people he meant by “them” are the fervent believers, people he refers to as “The Elect.” The people who would stereotype all whites as racist in the form of an inquisition.
His answer to the question is “Not if we want to keep our intellectual, moral and artistic culture being strangled by what is not only a sociopolitical program but a religion. The Elect are operating on the basis of a new religion before us here in our own times.” The idea of a religion is expanded in the next chapter.
The Elect are people who see any question that could be interpreted as derogatory about Blacks as being racist. Next week we will explore some of those questions.
My editor is at the beach playing bridge with her friends. If you spot more errors, it is all on me this week.