One of the more interesting anecdotes in David Remnick`s interminable new biography of Barack Obama`s "story of race and inheritance," The Bridge
, comes from Obamaâ€™s class at the University of Chicago Law School on â€?Race, Racism, and the Law:â€?
â€?â€™But there was a moment when he let his guard down,â€™ one former student recalled. â€?He told us what he thought about reparations. He agreed entirely with the theory of reparations. But in practice he didnâ€™t think it was really workable. â€¦ as the complexities emergedâ€”who is black, how far back do you go, what about recent immigrants still feeling racism, do they have a claimâ€”finally, he said, â€?That is why itâ€™s unworkable.â€™â€™â€?
Of course, the exact same questions also apply to affirmative actionâ€”which Obama finds wonderfully â€?workable.â€?
Obamaâ€™s student recalled:
â€?You could tell that he thought he had let the cat out of the bag and felt uncomfortable. To agree with reparations in theory means we go past apology and say we can actually change the dynamics of the country â€¦â€?