Attention people. Go read this book.
I need to do some PR for it because I can see it is getting no love. None whatsoever. And it's another jigsaw puzzle of the racism question. Wachtel decided to tackle the problem from psychological point of view or as he (constantly) calls it : vantage point (seriously, Paul, there are PLENTY of synonyms).
Anyway, yes. It is very interesting. Half of the book deals with the so called vicious circles and the self perpetuating quality of most of the discrimantion related problems. We skillfully worked ourselves into a situation when the effect causes the cause and then the cause causes the effect and we no longer know which is which and we will be stuck in this FOREVER. Don't fret, though. He offers solutions as well.
The other half of the book is just one big disclaimer. See, Paul L Wachtel is a white dude, so he is treading on thin ice here. In my opinion he is impeccable.
His book won't fully please the liberals and definitely won't please the conservatives (especially the Bell Curve sort of idiots) but it pleased me, and that's all that matters (as I am the only one that actually read the book).
He really does go deep into people's psyche and will have you question yourself. Even if you are as liberal as they get, it might turn out, that you, in fact, are racist as well. Or prejudiced at least, let's not be too harsh, you didn't deserve it. At some point I started freaking out that maybe I am racist as well, you know. But then I remembered I have a black friend. So definitely not. Phew.
Ok, now I am off to read something silly.