Race to the Most Racist-est

I’ll be happy one day if I can truly say that my children are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. And I’m afraid I won’t live to see it.

I’ll be happy one day if I can truly say that my children are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. But I think that day is a long way off. And I’m afraid I won’t live to see it.

Thursday, Southern Mississippi University made headlines. Not for their season-ending loss to the basketball powerhouse Kansas; but for the racist and very offensive chanting of some of their band members during that loss. These students – who were attending the game as representatives of Southern Mississippi University – felt they were entitled to chant “where’s your green card” at Mr. Angel Rodriguez as he was taking some free throws during the first half.

The school acted swiftly and precisely. The punishment was almost exactly what I would have done. The students have been stripped of their scholarships, are out of the pep band, and have to undergo sensitivity training. I must credit Southern Miss’ school officials for their swift reproach of these students’ behavior.

In the face of anti-immigrant harassment (misdirected as it might have been to Puerto Rican Rodriguez), voter identification laws (that disproportionately affect minorities), and questionable immigration reforms in the south, the growing tree of evidence of a reversal of racial equality and cultural tolerance in America is virtually undeniable. In this supposedly “post racial” America, what does this say about the state of race relations in this country?

Up until a few days ago, one could purchase bumper stickers referring to the President of the United States as a nigger. Of course, the purveyor of this despicable product, Paula Smith, denies all racist connotation. She claims that the President isn’t even black. She also claims that putting one of the most offensive, racially-motivated words in the English language on a bumper sticker referring to our black President is not racist. Yeah. Right.

So many people have jumped on the [non] racist, anti-Obama band wagon the last year. The fact is, much of the opposition to Obama’s presidency from its very inception has been motivated by Barack Obama’s race. We’ve heard him referred to as the “food stamp president”, we’ve heard accusations of Obama  “chugging 40s” instead of doing his job, he’s criticized for “entertaining rappers,” he’s derided as having a “hip-hop BBQ” at the White House. It seems no matter what President Barack Obama does – and he does just about the same things that previous presidents did (except play a mean game of basketball) – pundits who don’t like him routinely stage their disapproval in race-tinged cultural terms. And racist sewage circles the internet drain in chain emails that even pop up out of the offices of the judicial branch.

If it’s not racism, what is it? These people like O’Reilly, Beck and Boortz know exactly what they are doing. They are well versed by now in the art of the covert racial message.  One would be remiss to claim that their euphemisms are not carefully crafted and their responses – if they offer any acknowledgement whatsoever of their slander –  to the predictable fallout are not premeditated. These mass double entendre serve as a call to arms – fuel for the fire for their political lynching of a honorable man.

[Post-] Racial America My Foot!

With the election of Barrack Obama to the Presidency of the United States, pundits termed a supposed new description for our culture. People are trying to call our current social climate post-racial. People want to believe they have surpassed the violent racism of that past, that they are colorblind. I say it’s all bullshit.

I have even heard politicians say, “We elected a Black President. We don’t need Affirmative Action anymore.” Meanwhile Republican governors want to slash funding for public schools across the country; and leave many students whose parents cannot afford to send their children to expensive private schools to languish in under-funded classrooms. Is it a wonder that the bar at an under-funded, struggling school is lower than at a well-funded private school? I imagine, as an administrator, it’s a bit difficult to build a robust AP program when your still trying to bring your graduation rate up to the national average, and your teen pregnancy rate below it. Where should your priorities lie in such an environment? I would put my money into pregnancy prevention and student retention programs. Oh, wait, did I mention that money was cut? Sure, abolishing affirmative action will guarantee ‘real’ (un)equality.

How can this be “post-racial” America when James Craig Anderson can be beaten, robbed, run over and murdered by kids who attacked the first black man they saw, yelled “white power” while they did it, then bragged about murdering some ni****, only to have community members decry labeling it what it is: a hate crime? Oh, that’s just youthful indiscretion? That’s not hate driven?

You cannot even isolate this ‘post-racial’ description for the political climate! Remember poor Shirley Sherrod? She was forced to resign her position with the USDA after her words during a speech at an NAACP event were taken out of context. Her firing may not have been race driven, but the onset of the whole debacle sure was. (By the way, I hope she wins her defamation suit against Andrew Breitbart. That jerk should pay the price for his thoughtless actions. Shirley sure did!) And since President Obama is colorblind in his cabinet and judicial nominations, Sonia Sotomayor was accused of racism. And what about the beer summit? And a recently published study of the number of strikes called by umpires for same or opposite race pitchers reveals that racial bias is so deep, we don’t even know when we are doing it!

Even so-called ‘millenials’ say race matters. So can we just drop the whole ‘post-racial’ farce already? We’ve got a long way to go, people.

Update: As if on cue, Andrew Breitbart has advocated civil war (i.e. – violent overthrow of the United States of America) because he constantly (rightfully) gets called out on Twitter for his bullshit ultra right wing rhetoric. I really do hope Shirley wins that defamation suit.