Writing in an August 18 article in The Atlantic, Brooklyn Law School Professor Alice Ristroph made a clumsy attempt to use the recent eclipse as a literary vehicle to once more remind America of the history of racism.
While Ristroph obviously doesn’t believe the heavens are inherently racist, she nevertheless begins by pointing out that the path of the eclipse just happens to fall on areas of the country predominantly populated by white people.
“On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will arrive mid-morning on the coast of Oregon. It has been dubbed the Great American Eclipse, and along most of its path, there live almost no black people. Presumably, this is not explained by the implicit bias of the solar system.”
Presumably, this is intended as clever prose, yet it fails miserably.
Following the eclipse’s path of totality, Ristroph takes us on a gloomy cross-country tour, dredging up obscure historical details and bemoaning the fact that many areas are still populated by white majorities, as though this were a crime.
“There are very few black Oregonians, and this is not an accident … as a U.S. territory and then a state, Oregon sought to get and stay white. Among several formal efforts at racial exclusion was a provision in the original state constitution of 1857 that prohibited any “free Negro or Mulatto” from entering and residing in the state.”
And so it goes.
For more than 4,000 words, Ristroph clomps across the country (and history) in a tedious, tongue-clicking screed about Congress, the Electoral College and race, race, race.
The sad part of all this is that she could have used this rare astronomical event to pen a message of hope and unity. To ponder the majesty of the heavens and so lend some perspective in which our human differences melt into insignificance.
But like the quintessential, dour-faced liberal, Ristroph missed the opportunity and instead published a condescending diatribe to browbeat the rest of us—lest we dare feel some inkling of national pride.
It’s all so self-righteous. And so typically left-wing.