The fundamental devaluation of dark skin — 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation — is surprisingly resilient, says Charles M. Blow. He wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that could influence the discussion at the monthly Not in Our Town session,  Continuing Conversations on Race, set for Monday, January 7, at 7;30 p.m., in the Princeton Public Library. 

Blow quotes none other than Herman Cain to illustrate how using slavery as an analogy may have become “subversively chic.” Cain, running as a Republican presidential candidate, built an entire campaign around this not-so-coded language, saying that he had left “the Democrat plantation,” calling blacks “brainwashed” and arguing, “I don’t believe racism in this country today holds anybody back in a big way.”   

For the January 7 Continuing Conversation, the focus is on the values honored by those in higher education. Some believe that everyone has equal opportunity at, for instance, Princeton University. Others may differ. Roberto Schiraldi and Fern Spruill will lead the discussion, focusing on such topics as minority employment, education, and the retail experience. All are welcome to share their views in an open, friendly, and confidential session. 

Nationally, more people are expressing anti-black sentiments. This discussion, as with all of Not in Our Town Princeton’s activities, focuses on Princeton.