Friday, April 22, 2005

Which wand for you? 

Reader jw (who is being petitioned to join this blog) has found a copy of Richard Lamm's excellent essay, Two Magic Wands. This was published in the latest issue of Academic Questions, but I hadn't had time to scour the internet for a good copy. Here's the intro to the essay.
Let me offer you, metaphorically, two magic wands that have sweeping powers to change society. With one wand you could wipe out all racism and discrimination from the hearts and minds of white America. The other wand you could wave across the ghettoes and barrios of America and infuse the inhabitants with Japanese or Jewish values, respect for learning, and ambition. But, alas, you can t wave both wands. Only one.

Which would you choose? I understand that many would love to wave both wands; no one can easily refuse the chance to erase racism and discrimination. But I suggest that the best wand for the society and for those who live in the ghettoes and barrios would be the second wand.
Read the whole thing and ponder which wand you prefer.