Friday, January 23, 2009

America's problems or race and expectation.

First and foremost, we the United States of America, have a race problem.  We do, it's as simple as that.  The nation is obssessed with race.  I watched the inauguration of President Obama on Tuesday.  All of the coverage was about race.  From the reporters covering it to Rev. Lowery praying for the day "when WHITE will embrace what's RIGHT."  I got up this morning this morning to a video on MTV, "My President is Black." completely with caracitures of skinny, bitter whites protesting President Obama.  Were the film of this video shown as a negative with the word black replaced with white it would be hauled off the air like a dump trunk full of gravel.

But this video's wording is very telling.  It speaks in relation to a myth.  That myth is that the President of the United States "gives" to people.  Barack Obama is going to give handouts.   Going to give people a better job, hell a better life.  This implies that George W. Bush and the presidents before him "gave" (to the white man I guess.)  This further evidenced by this voicemail left at CitiBank's collection department.  Notice how the fact that this woman doesn't make her car payment is going to be remedied by President Obama.  I also like the phrase, "WE'VE got Barack Obama."  Lady, he's my president too.

The expectation is there that Barack Obama is going to make their lives better.  That they will not be expected to pay their bills or be responsible or to work.  What it comes down to is that in the mind of these folks Barack Obama's sole purpose is to stick it to "whitey."  Also ,I really think, as scary as it is, that the expectation is for President Obama begin punishing "whitey" for, well, being white.

Tavis Smiley, said on Meet the Press that Obama's election as president is merely a down payment on Rev. King's dream.  That is patently false.  Obama's election is proof of King's dream as being fullfilled.  Have you ever Rev. King's "I have a dream" speech.  I highly recommend that you do.  You can read it here.

If you actually read the speech, what Rev. King is stating is that all of us should be equal, regardless of race, gender or religion and so on.  In mathematical terms:

Not: white people > black people or black peolple >white people or red people > black people.

More like:  white people = black people or black people = red people or how about white = black = red = brown = yellow = green.

Or even better yet, shed the group mentality of color and class all together?  If that were the case it would be:

people = people = people OR just PEOPLE.  That's what King was getting at.

It is going to take all of us to get past race.  It is going to take organizations like the NAACP, La Raza to drop the race classification and getting with the program.  President Obama's election has demonstrated that there is still work to be done.  You will know that we have turned the corner when comments such as, "You have a black President." or "...and she's Mexican." or "...but he's white." are met with, "So?"

Bottom line, in a post racial society, race does not matter and is not a factor.  That's why it's called POST racial.

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