by ROBIN KEATS
It sometimes takes a lot to turn a skeptic such as myself into a semi-optimist; sometimes not. The meltdown of the (then) Soviet Union’s nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in 1986, despite the radiation that poured fatally forth, gave me cause for semi-optimism. They couldn’t hide the disaster and, perhaps weakly prophetic, I saw this as symbolic preamble to the disassembling of the Iron Curtain.
As I said, sometimes it’s a more minor symbol that prompts me to have hope. As odd as it may sound, the current TV ad for Levitra â€“ a remedy for erectile dysfunction of all things! â€“ gives me reason to have hope for the future. I’m not talking about optimism regarding sexual durability for aging men; I’m referring to an ad that seems to feature a biracial couple extolling the benefits of the drug. Another TV commercial touts an insurance company that features an African-American woman demonstrating model citizenship as she grabs a hold of a Caucasian who is about to walk into an intersection and get flattened by an oncoming car. Show me commercials in which people of color are showing their white counterparts the way to a better sex life or, in the case of the insurance commercial, that they are saving lives and I have some cause for semi-optimism!
These things figure, as I see it, in the progress America has made and continues to make in reducing racism to a fringe issue. Big money promoting racial diversity is a great thing.
MSNBC anchor and political whiz Chris Matthews reiterates that he disapproves of the media’s handling of exit polls that distinguish between â€œhardworking, white, blue-collar workersâ€ and other blue-collar workers who aren’t white. â€œWhy do we have to do that?â€ he pointedly asks. â€œI’m looking forward to the day when color isn’t even mentioned, when kids come home and talk about their teacher and don’t mention if he’s white or brown or black.â€ Hooray for Chris Matthews and his vision of a colorblind America.
OK, perhaps it’s a huge stretch to link Chernobyl and Levitra but this is a crazy world. I think these kinds of things portend better days ahead. Call me a semi-optimist; it’s a new feeling for me and I’ve certainly been called a lot worse.