Racism Is Dead! Hooray!

3 comments January 30th, 2008at 07:07am Posted by Eli

So, apparently we’re in a “post-racial” era now. That whole racism thing just up and went away. Who knew?

I am so sick of hearing “post-racial” bleated in the MSM over and over, seemingly in a desperate attempt to see Barack Obama’s successes so far in garnering diverse support as a sign that somehow, voters are looking beyond race. If you listen to NPR’s Daniel Schorr’s “A New, ‘Post-Racial’ Political Era in America,” you’ll sit there with your jaw on the table. There’s no transcript up yet, but trust me, Mr. Schorr makes some broad assumptions from the results in Iowa and South Carolina.

The short version: “post-racial” means 1) the rejection/diminution of traditional civil rights leadership; 2) the younger generation drawn to Obama is if not color-blind, color-blurred; 3) this election cycle will see less of a focus on race.

Awesome. So how’s that working out, then?

Alec Baldwin shared this bit of business being published in his local (East Hampton, NY) right-leaning paper, The Independent.

On the heels of Barack Obama being endorsed for the presidency by the normally close-to-the-vest Caroline Kennedy, whose invocation of her father’s enduring legacy carries, in some people’s hearts and minds, more weight than any ten such endorsements by others, please read what the local Republicans in my home town are thinking, and publishing, about Senator Obama. This is, quite clearly, not to be believed.

This is what passes off as satire:

“The truth is, I don’t know many black people, but my advisers have drafted a strategy to reel in the black vote:
1) Call everyone ‘Brother.’ Blacks, I am told, do this even if most of their real brothers are in jail.
2) Talk Jive. Brothers want to hear jive. During my speech I told the crowd, ‘We be, you know, sick of whitey supressin’ and congestin’ so, you know, we won’t denigrate or sophisticate but emulate and populate, you know, the system is, like, broken, y’all!'”And, in reference to Hillary Clinton:
“Ultimately, if she gets too close, one of my New york advisors has advised me to ‘Bitch slap that ho.’ White women, I am told, like that.”

(…)

What I am saying is that the underlying reason for promoting “post-racial” (note you don’t see many blacks tossing that around) is more about wanting it to be true so badly so that race doesn’t have to be dealt with. It cuts both ways.

Note you will see folks on the right (and the Clinton camp) complaining that they “cannot talk about race” in regards to Obama. No, they feel they cannot successfully use the familiar political dog-whistles that evoke fear without getting called on it.

It all goes back to the fear of being labeled “racist.” It’s almost as if we need to come up with another term that doesn’t conjure up visions of Klan Night Riders, lest whites recoil at the mere thought that they can hold ingrained biases through no fault of their own by growing up in this culture.

You know, the Glorious Post-Racial Golden Age sure is looking an awful lot like the Pre-Post-Racial Era that preceded it. Hillary and her surrogates may be using dog whistles, but the right is still using air horns. If Obama wins, get ready for A Thousand Points Of Macaca. (And if Hillary wins, get ready for A Thousand Points Of Bitch.) It will not be subtle, but it will be laundered through surrogates to preserve the Republican nominee’s deniability. I’m hopeful that the sheer volume and shamelessness of it will generate a massive backlash among decent, non-racist voters, but they could just as easily stay home in disgust.

Pam’s assessment of the underlying reason for the “post-racial” meme is spot-on, I think. If you declare victory over racism, then you don’t have to fight it anymore. One of the cruel ironies in this country is that, as far as I can tell (and I am admittedly not an expert), racism has been almost completely eradicated… on paper. Jim Crow and miscegenation laws have been struck down, there are equal opportunity and desegregation and anti-discrimination laws, there’s even affirmative action. (Even in the case of immigration, the laws themselves are technically focused on country of origin rather than race or color; it’s the enforcement and rhetoric that are saturated with anti-Latino hatred.)

And yet, somehow, incredibly, actual not-on-paper, in-the-flesh racism is still alive and well. But the fact that it’s been wiped out on paper means that the white powers-that-be can say, “Hey, we outlawed racism; what more do you want from us? We’ve gone as far as the law will allow, so we’re done now. Mission accomplished.” But of course it’s not accomplished, because laws can’t touch the heart or the mind or the soul, and laws are worthless when they’re ignored, or enforced with malicious intent.

So that’s where we are now. Racism is over because we say it’s over. Next we’ll declare that sexism is over, homophobia is over, poverty is over, and the Iraqupation is over, and we’ll all live happily ever after.

Welcome to the Potemkin Post-Racial Era.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Media,Politics,Racism,Republicans,Wankers

3 Comments

  • 1. Cujo359  |  January 30th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    I haven’t encountered the term “post racial” before. It’s positively idiotic. Not only are there clearly still “races” in this country, but we continue to discuss them. Sometimes, the noise about race drowns out the other stuff we need to be talking about.

    Anyone who thinks there’s no racism in America needs to get out more. Things are better here than they used to be, but you don’t need to look too hard to find it.

  • 2. Eli  |  January 30th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    When people of color are the ones saying, “Phew! I’m sure glad that’s over with!”, that’s when I’ll believe we’ve finally moved on.

  • 3. play real casino&hellip  |  July 20th, 2008 at 6:03 am

    play real casino…

    clays,whoop fine truest warble coacher …


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