Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Frank J Fleming:
So a lot of people — even those who didn’t vote for him — had hoped that with the election of Barack Obama as president, we’d be moving to a post-racial society.How’d that work out?If anything, it seems that the election (and re-election) of the first black president has actually aggravated racial issues in America. If you want my opinion on why — and you probably don’t — it’s because we specifically elected a black president instead of a president who happens to be black — i.e., his election was more because of racism than a triumph over it.
I have been blogging about race for a while and have stuck my neck out a mile, but at my age it matters somewhat less. In my view, Frank J. is right about Obama: he was elected because he is black, not despite it. It's actually a great insight into the racial views of the white population of the US. The proportion of white people who will go to the privacy of the voting booth and vote for the black guy because he's black vs. those who will vote against him because he's black heavily favors the former over the latter. It appears that the indoctrination that Frank J. in school has had its effect.
And I’m just speaking from my own experience here. My generation is one that everyone was going to do all they could to make sure wasn’t racist. As far as I remember, my first three years of American history in grade school were nothing but Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King. And it really ingrained in me that racism was bad… while at the same time not exactly making me colorblind. I remember there was a time when I was really young and blissfully unaware of race and didn’t know to think differently of anyone, but then in school I was taught, “Remember: Black people have faced lots of discrimination. So when you see black people, think discrimination.”
The lesson is to vote for the black guy because he's black and it's a vote against discrimination. But that's a lousy way of choosing elected officials for the country. That way you get an affirmative action president, and how's that working out for you?
Frank J. mixes humor and commentary but there's more than a kernel of truth in this:
I think a big part of it is that no one really understands the racism of today. It’s not the blatantly evil racism of the Jim Crow south; it’s the racism of a country that elected a black president thinking that would solve everything. It’s a weirder, sillier racism that none of us quite understand well enough to discuss intelligently. So I’m going to propose a new tactic: Instead of a national conversation on race, let’s try a national shutting up on race. ...Also, not talking about race will be a bigger adjustment for some than for others. Presumably, Al Sharpton will starve to death. But his will hopefully be a sacrifice toward a better, more functional society.
It's true. There are no more separate-but-equal schools (except for the blacks schools that black students, teachers and "leaders" want to remain black), water fountains (heck, everyone drinks bottled water anyway), bus seats, neighborhoods, you name it. Now, to keep their income the race hustlers tell us the about the indignity of hearing car doors lock. The claim is now that racism is as invisible and omnipresent as air. It's about nothing you, as a white person did, so much as the fact that you exist wearing pale skin, a badge of "privilege." It's about bullshit.
That's why a great "shut up" about race would be an improvement. But then how would the Justice Brothers make their next million?