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.