Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Please

Can we please put the entire blacks-are-discriminated-against and white-people-are-racist idea to rest?

Does his victory mean that America is now officially beyond racism? Does it finally complete the work of the civil rights movement so that racism is at last dismissible as an explanation of black difficulty? Can the good Revs. Jackson and Sharpton now safely retire to the seashore? [Please, God, make it so...] Will the Obama victory dispel the twin stigmas that have tormented black and white Americans for so long -- that blacks are inherently inferior and whites inherently racist? Doesn't a black in the Oval Office put the lie to both black inferiority and white racism? Doesn't it imply a "post-racial" America? And shouldn't those of us -- white and black -- who did not vote for Mr. Obama take pride in what his victory says about our culture even as we mourn our political loss? (insert mine.)

The money quote: "Obama's post-racial idealism told whites the one thing they most wanted to hear: America had essentially contained the evil of racism to the point at which it was no longer a serious barrier to black advancement."

Of course, it is true that white America has made great progress in curbing racism over the last 40 years. I believe, for example, that Colin Powell might well have been elected president in 1996 had he run against a then rather weak Bill Clinton. It is exactly because America has made such dramatic racial progress that whites today chafe so under the racist stigma. So I don't think whites really want change from Obama as much as they want documentation of change that has already occurred. They want him in the White House first of all as evidence, certification and recognition.

But there is an inherent contradiction in all this. When whites -- especially today's younger generation -- proudly support Obama for his post-racialism, they unwittingly embrace race as their primary motivation. They think and act racially, not post-racially. The point is that a post-racial society is a bargainer's ploy: It seduces whites with a vision of their racial innocence precisely to coerce them into acting out of a racial motivation. A real post-racialist could not be bargained with and would not care about displaying or documenting his racial innocence. Such a person would evaluate Obama politically rather than culturally. (emphasis mine)
I, for one, am hoping that with the election of President Obama, America can finally move past racial lines. It's just sad that it had to take President Obama to do it when black Americans have had amazing roll models like Colin Powel, Condoleezza Rice, and Clarence Thomas.

5 comments:

Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead said...

Seriously! It is amazing to have our first black president, a huge step for this country. But did it have to be Obama??!? I don't trust that man as far as I can throw him. I'm quite interested to see what "changes" will take place over the next 4 years.

Becky said...

Some might argue that Obama's appeal was that he is as much interracial as he is black.

I don't care for him no matter what the color - he could be purple plaid - and I am still turned off by the stench of his policy and his position on the sanctity of life (or lack of!) so this was a real loss for Christian conservatives in my book.

But I do pray for him and raise a toast..."Fix it, dear Barry" if you think you can do it better! :)

:) The Maid

Jessie said...

I agree with both of you. I did not vote for Obama simply because I do not agree with his politics. I care not what color he is.

And yes, I will pray for him as the Bible tells us so.

Jen said...

I voted for him because of his politics. It had nothing to do with race.

Don Durham said...

Race aside, isn't it true that his origins are more Arabic then African? I'm just sayin. But, I obiviousl didn't vote for him. I'd be better off living in the Old USSR with a vote for him. His policies are harmful to our Nation, and just yesterday he even admitted in his cunning way that he will NOT be able to CHANGE the USA the way that he said. Too bad. It truly is. I too pray that our Country comes out of this mess on top, but we always do! Yay God, and Yay America!