Friday, October 15, 2010

Post-Racial America: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same.......

A by-product of the Administration of President Barack Obama is this notion of a post racial America.  Some believe that the election of an African American to the highest political office in the land is the ultimate signal that America is indeed post racial......

Post Racial America means that we have gotten past racial bias, prejudice and racism in America. Even after a legacy of nationally sanctioned slavery, miscegenation, Jim Crow, Police Abuse, Driving While Black etc., etc., the consciousness of America has finally gotten to the point in Dr. Martin Luther King's dream where we would no longer be judged by "the color of our skin, but by the content of our character"..... Change.

My mom had this saying... "the more things change, the more they stay the same..."

I am a child of the Civil Rights movement. Too young to march. Old enough to hear, learn and become aware of my duty to my people as I took advantage of the strides the generations before made for me. As I was coming up hearing not only MLK and Malcolm, I remember being told of Medgar Evers.  I remember my dad taking me to see James Meredith speak at UCSD. I remember being told that I was groomed to become educated and to bring my education and experience back to the community to "uplift the race".

The election of a black man to the office of the President of the United States meant so much. It is a distinctly American Cultural paradigm shift... And yes, I am able to separate the cultural importance of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama from my right as a citizen, to observe, criticize or support the political decision of the person occupying the Oval Office.

That said, let us consider the concept of a post racial America. Some say that to elect a President Barack Obama is destroying the yoke of prejudice and racism in our land. Some would say that we can no longer complain of racial biases in our daily walk. And perhaps a part of this is true. I mean, up until the election of 2008, the concept of a black man as President was a far fetched dream.  But now, anything is possible,

Yet, today, we recognize the familiar signals of prejudice and disdain for black people woven in the speech of those who would politically disagree with the Administration's direction. We see a subliminal campaign to promote negative images of black people through mass media. We perceive the negative veiled, yet prejudiced statements from media pundits all over the country. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and others promote an extreme, pro-white viewpoint that has been a part of this country's consciousness since the founding. They offer profound disdain for the man in the Oval Office. A level of disrespect sometimes leaves one wondering "can he really say that about the President?" We see the various movements around the country who disagree with the change needed in this nation as those who long for the return to the good ol' days... oh you mean those days when we were "kept in our place"..... So are we really "post-racial"?

No. Even as rules and policies change (or not), the hearts of men have not. There is evidence that perhaps the powers of the world want to keep minorities down. School system failures abound in the hood..... An abundance of health issues abound in the hood. President Obama wants to give the people health care and the right wants to squash it. They want to keep folk under their thumb and possibly keep them extinct.

On the street, one can feel the feelings of prejudice and entitlement overflowing in the way we deal with each other as Americans. The looks you receive.... the attitudes..... the issues.... Perhaps the administration of President Barack Obama is the apex of a cultural revolution in America, the bloodshed taking place on levels that we will never see. But as the battle rages, we are subject to the effects of the battle here on the streets, the center of America's essence.

Post Racial America? no. We are not..... not now. The more things change, the more they stay the same....

No comments: