Inauthentic Without Homeless People

From this recent column by Sylvester Brown, Jr., for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, we get the following stunning insight:

His comment reminded me of a call I received from Erin Earley, 46, who had attended the recent Rib America Festival downtown.

“I’ve been going for eight years and have really enjoyed it. But this year, it took a real turn,” Earley, who described herself as Irish, told me.

“There were few people of color, no blues or R&B acts, just bad rock ‘n’ roll bands. They also charged a $3 cover for some unknown reason. I wondered if a white people’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ had been put in place,” Earley said, suggesting that event planners had sent subtle messages to keep the homeless and people of color away.

A priori assumptions:

  • Rib America is somehow less authentic without homeless people.
  • The same signals work on homeless people as on people of color.

Well, if that statement, with its set of a priori assumptions, doesn’t express what’s wrong with race relations today, I don’t know what does.

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