Thursday, September 3, 2009

Three Guys Lost at Sea

Three self-described country boys go ocean fishing, get lost at sea for a week and survive - a remarkable story. What no one has commented on - and what would have been unthinkable 50 years ago - is that two of the country boys are white, and one is black. Again, it shows the transformation of American society, and one that is rarely acknowledged in the centers of elite power and intellectual thought - whether liberal and conservative. Working class Americans are growing less prejudiced, not more, in every way. 50 years ago, black and white friendships were dangerous to have in many areas of the rural south. Now it's normal. And this type of social trend could eventually move on to issues such as the acceptance of gay equality. In fact, the legalization of gay marriage in Iowa earlier this year is probably a foreshadowing of that.


Can a society in which income inequality is rising, and already at historically high levels, continue to improve on the issues of toleration and discrimination ? Historically, stratified and unequal societies have high degrees of racism and xenophobia. This is why I feel the two social trends of 1) lessening prejudice and 2) widening income inequality are incompatible with each other. Politically and socially, one or the other must give.


1 "Lost at Sea" - Outdoor Life

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