Race and Self-Deception

Nicholas Kristof grew up on a farm in Yamhill, Oregon. He works for the New York Times, traveling the world, reporting from wherever there is human suffering. In 2005, when pundit Bill O’Reilly was promoting his annual “War on Christmas,” Kristof offered to show him what war really looked like.

“If you want to do something journalistic, come along with me on my next trip to Darfur. You’ll have to leave your studio and deal with people who, if they don’t like you, will shoot you in a moment. But you’ll also have the chance to take a genuinely important and overlooked story and bring it into people’s homes. So come on, Bill. What’ll it be? More ranting from your studio? Or real journalism?”

Mr. O’Reilly did not take him up on the offer.

Mr. Kristof recently published a piece on a timely subject: race and white delusion.

“My hunch is that we will likewise look back and conclude that today’s calls for racial justice, if anything, understate the problem — and that white America, however well meaning, is astonishingly oblivious to pervasive inequity.”

Read it here.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

In the 1974 movie Chinatown, an aggrieved wife hires private detective Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) to get the goods on her adulterous husband. Jake finds himself caught up in murder, incest and a scheme by corrupt Los Angeles officials to steal water for their municipal supply. (Jake also gets to partake in some adultery himself, with Faye Dunaway. But that’s getting off-topic.)

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Urban Renewal & Dislocation

kellerOn summer days, Portland’s Keller Fountain is alive with children splashing, students playing with smartphones while dangling feet in the water, and workers from nearby offices enjoying lunch. Formerly named Forecourt, the Ira Keller Fountain sits across the street from the Ira Keller Auditorium, host of much big-name entertainment that comes to town.

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