NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

May 14, 2014

Time to retire Anderson's columns

To the editor:

Barbara Anderson’s latest piece displays her stark ignorance and The Daily News diminishes its credibility and does its readers a disservice by continuing to publish her weekly column.

I have been reading Ms. Anderson’s writings over the last seven years and have been increasingly amazed by her ability to consistently apply the same diagnosis and remedy to every problem. While some readers may see a dedication to core principles, there is a fine line between staying true to one’s beliefs and sticking one’s head in the sand — it’s the difference between a 3-year-old who listens, learns and grows and the 3-year-old who sticks his fingers in his ears and yells, “La la la la la.”

In her May 3 column, however, Ms. Anderson stumbled beyond rote repetition of her tired talking points and, hopefully, provided the final words The Daily News needs to stop publishing her pieces. Ms. Anderson’s musings on race in America included a few clueless assertions regarding two (by her reckoning merely inarticulate and jealous) old men and one rare admission of doubt and uncertainty: race is “one of those things that make no sense and that I might never understand.”

If only she had stopped there. Ms. Anderson continues and notes how she has taken pride in her cluelessness about racial tensions, how she considers race to be nothing more than a medical condition, and how — well, I guess we could have seen this coming — Obama is at fault for reigniting racism in America. Ms. Anderson’s blissfully colorblind United States lost its peace, love, and harmony when the president and his supporters had the audacity to notice the color of his skin.

In the aftermath of Cliven Bundy’s “the Negro” moment and Donald Sterling’s rants about race, Americans of every race and background could read newspaper and magazine editorials and opinion pieces exploring why racism persists the way it does and what has changed over the last decade. Bundy and Sterling inadvertently reminded everyone that race remains a painful and divisive issue in America — not because overly sensitive people just won’t stop talking about it, but because racism still motivates influential Americans.

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