During the six months or so of my fruitless job hunting in the US, my friends and I used to joke about getting a job as a Black Conservative. It seems to be a growing industry in the age of Obama. I would ride the monster of American history to financial stability. All I'd need do is stand looking at myself in the mirror after an evening of slagging off black people for fun and profit.
While living in the United States I came to think that much of the energies of the national psyche are directed towards pretending the existence of African Americans and related structural inequalities does not signify evidence of some of the greatest crimes in their country's history.
I'm having a hard time understanding why anyone would want to honour a man who ran a "Negro Mart", and conspired to enslave millions of human beings. Those are his accomplisments. If, as his defenders argue, his last minute expression of regret is supposed to wipe the slate clean, what is there left to celebrate?
I've started my Black History Month posts much earlier than last year, though I fear that the quality will be much diminished. After catching this NYT article I've been thinking about the growing number of young USians describing themselves as multiracial, and the optimism about the future of US race relations - much the same as that attached to the Obama presidential campaign.