Post-racial America? Not Where I Live.

Rachel Maddow is one of the very few things that ever make me think I might want to get a TV.

On the bus the other day, I happened to sit between two women who were having a conversation. There's lots of conversation on my bus. People know each other in my neighborhood, at least the black folks do, and that's most of the folks in my neighborhood. These women were speaking in a dialect so different from mine that I could not understand most of what they were saying. I could understand enough of it -- and I recognized certain rhythms or cadences, I don't know the linguistic terminology -- to know that it was English, but other than the odd word here and there, I had no idea what they were saying to each other.

It struck me that right there was a lesson in racism in America, that this community of people right here in the middle of a big American city is still so isolated, so culturally separated, that they speak a dialect that barely resembles the dominant dialect.

So, lots of feelings and ideas come up which I don't have time to sort out here right now. I have to say, though, that, despite the difficulty sometimes of living in the squalid, bleak, risky neighborhoods I've lived in most of my adult life, one positive aspect, among many, is that I didn't end up as ignorant as Pat Buchanan. I'm grateful for that.