January 21, 2009

Is this a surprise? The News Journal says “race still an issue”

An African-American has been elected president. A very liberal African-American has been elected president in a country that still maintains many politically conservative opinions. It is a truly momentous occasion.

Not so fast.

Our ever-race conscious News Journal (unless, of course, it comes to crime reports) says “Race [is] still an issue despite [the] presidency.” Of course! What would we expect from our ridiculously PC local newspaper? I don’t plan on dissecting this silly article in its entirety (it’s too easy, frankly) but let’s take a gander of some of the hi (or is it “low”) lights:

To [Heriberto] Caraballo, the question isn't whether Obama's presidency will change race relations in America. He thinks the change has already begun, thanks to a campaign that brought Americans of all races and ethnicities together.

Did it? Obama ran away with the black vote, but then every Democrat candidate for president has done that in the last half century or so. The percentages of other groups were all that different from that of other candidates either.

Caraballo said, "A lot of people that got together would never have come across each other otherwise, they would have never reached out to another race or class. They didn't even look at it that way, it just served the purpose of trying to get him elected. But as this whole thing has been going for the last four years, change has been happening."

Those who study race relations are a bit more skeptical, however. Perceptions of race and social institutions that perpetuate racism are deeply ingrained, they said, so much so that neither Obama, nor any one person, could never [sic] eradicate them on his own. Add in two wars and an economy in shambles and Obama faces perhaps the highest expectations of any president in recent memory.

Stop right there. Of course “those who study race relations” are skeptical. They have to be, natch. Else, how could they continue to keep “studying” such? Much like the Jesse Jacksons of the world, problems must always continue to persist, however seemingly ridiculous, else the unemployment line will beckon. No, I do not mean by any means to lampoon REAL racial issues and problems. Anyone with only one hemisphere in his/her cranium knows racism and bias still exist. But when once-noble organizations such as the NAACP have to criticize, for example, the dresses that a state’s delegation of women (to the inauguration) are wearing as “reminiscent of slavery days,” what does that say? (The prez of that NAACP chapter has since apologized.)

With all the high expectations for Obama, UD's [Antonia] Randolph said, a real danger exists that anything he does, or does not, achieve during his presidency will be used to create generalizations about all black people.

Sort of like the generalizations that have been created about all Republicans, maybe? Speaking of which …

"There's a danger of people saying, 'Well, show us what you can do as a black person on behalf of the black race,' " Randolph said.

Of course Obama doesn’t represent all black people just like George Bush didn’t represent all white people. But this statement here is, frankly, what drives many folks nutty. It outright contradicts what we hear constantly in the media: that is, it’s commonly accepted that the “black community” is supposed to believe the same things, think alike, and act alike. How often do we see/hear in the media “the black community …”? How many times have we seen the utter and repulsive derision towards black people who “deviate” from what is supposed to be “black?” Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell were denigrated in racial terms because they dared to work for [Republican] George Bush. What about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas? He was vilified (probably most disgustingly by “journalist” Julianne Malveaux who wished Thomas would get a heart attack by eating lots of bacon and eggs precisely because he “didn’t think like a black person should.” (In other words, he’s conservative.) And Ward Connerly? Etcetera.

29-year-old [Lisa Sadar] isn't sure Obama's presidency will mark the end of race as a prominent issue in American society.

"I don't know if it should. I was brought up in a mixed-race family and grew up around a lot of diversity. I think you've got to celebrate everyone's heritage,"] Sadar said.

Trying to achieve a colorblind society can be dangerous if it comes at the expense of celebrating people's differences rather than trying to combat inequality, [UD’s Antonia] Randolph said.

Again, here we go. Do we or do we not want to keep “race” an issue? What did Dr. King desire – content of character or color consciousness? I don’t believe the quest for colorblindness has ever meant obliterating “one’s heritage” or “celebrating differences.” Even in the days of legal segregation when society was virtually completely dominated by whites, European American immigrants, though desirous of becoming “American,” continued to “celebrate” their roots from the “old countries.” Why would – should – this be any different for African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Latinos? If anything, the “dangerous” part comes from the far-Left when they insist (usually in academic circles) that different races are “inherently different” -- for instance, like blacks “are louder” or “learn differently” merely because they are black, and how different ethnic populations need teachers that “look like them” to learn effectively). How this isn’t as stereotypically asinine as a bigoted red-neck saying that “blacks are naturally pre-disposed to criminal activity” is beyond me. And should be beyond you, too.

"You can't declare racism dead and wash your hands of it," she said. "You can't say, 'Well, racism is over now and thank God for that,' because there are social institutions that run on racism."

Hmm. When can we declare racism dead? Can we ever, since individuals will always exist that are bigoted in some way? Humans are imperfect beings. And what are these social institutions that “run on racism,” Ms. Randolph? I’m genuinely curious.

Posted by Hube at January 21, 2009 05:44 PM | TrackBack

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