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Opinion Journal, Shelby Steele, “Of Race and Imagination”

[…] Democracies expand individual rights past the barriers of race, class and gender precisely by encouraging imaginative identification with difference–by asking men to put themselves in the shoes of women, whites in the shoes of blacks, and so on. And minorities are always asking others to put themselves in their place because they know this is how equality will be experienced and become undeniable. Minorities also know that racism and bigotry are always a failure of this kind of imagination. In the face of difference, imagination is the only way to common humanity. Thus minorities also know that racism and bigotry are the perfect collapse of imagination. […]

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