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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Posted November 2nd, 2008 by

The fascinating parallels between incidents in the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Barack Obama’s life and candidacy, and between the year the film was made (1967) and today, are highlighted in yesterday’s New York Times editorial by Frank Rich.

At a time in our nation’s history in which national politics, international turmoil, economic upheaval, and myriad other forms of uncertainty continue to be impacted by the unacknowledged walls of separation that still exist between people based on race, Rich correctly points out that America’s racial legacy is built into our DNA. Much has changed–and a lot of it for the better–since 1967. Yet this presidential campaign has highlighted the discomfort we still feel as a nation when confronting issues involving race.

I highly recommend that you read Rich’s column not because you support one candidate or another but because it focuses so keenly on some of the issues that make this such a fascinating–and seminal–campaign. As Rich says, “Obama doesn’t transcend race. He isn’t post-race. He is the latest chapter in the ever-unfurling American racial saga. It is an astonishing chapter.”


One response to “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”

  1. James says:

    What I particularly liked about Rich's column yesterday was his observation that even forty years ago, liberal critics derided Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? for being hopelessly out of date in suggesting that liberal-ish parents would object to a black suitor for their daughter.

    I think that's an indication of just how far removed some of the country now is from traditional attitudes towards race, as well as a reminder that even if part of our society has moved past these issues, they can linger elsewhere in society for a remarkably long time.

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