Today, too many people are gun-shy about using the word racism, lest they themselves be called race-baiters. So we are witnessing an assault on the concept of racism, an attempt to erase legitimate discussion and grievance by degrading the language: Eliminate the word and you elude the charge.From Google Trends, the relative search frequency rate for the term "racism" over the last decade:
He has an arguable point. We're even lagging behind a couple other Anglophone diaspora countries.
On the other hand, the relative search volume for "racist" during the same period of time:
I guess we're becoming more individualistic and less group-oriented over time. This isn't going to make Brett Stevens happy, but there it is!
It's not for the NYT's lack of emphasis that the public has taken it's collective eye off the ball, though. The number of articles the paper has run containing the word "racism", in five year intervals, since the turn of the millennium (01/01/2000-12/31/2004, 01/01/2005-12/31/2009, 01/01/2010-12/04/2014):
The Cathedral's role is to instruct us on what we should want to think about, not what we would actually prefer to think about.