same category), isn’t it time for the voters to demand that candidates running for political office at least know what’s in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and have some basic knowledge of United States and world history? How about a simple test—constructed by a bipartisan group of history and political science professors—that candidates would have to take? There need not be a pass or fail or even a grade assigned, but the questions and the candidates’ answers would be published for all to see. Don’t we as voters have a right to know what these candidates know and what they don’t know? We demand that accountants, doctors, police officers, lawyers, and a host of other professional people in this country take tests as part of their admission to their jobs. Why shouldn’t we expect that of politicians as well? Then, the voters—after reading their responses—can make up their own minds as to whether or not they wish to vote for them.
According to Andrea Rich “any language that, through a conscious or unconscious attempt by the user, places a particular racial or ethnic group in an inferior position is racist.” Racist language expresses racist attitudes. It also, however, contributes to the development of racist attitudes in those who use or hear the language. Even when racism is subtle, unintentional, or even unconscious, its effects are systematically damaging. Here is an all-too-brief consideration of some of the ways we might talk about race without offending others.