America will never be “post-racial.”
When Barack Obama was elected president, so many people whom I would have thought had better sense said that America was now “post racial.” The election of an African American proved it.
Yes, it was nice and all, and I am sure many white people were nervously patting themselves on the back, saying, “I did it. I voted for a black man.” That meant to them, I would suppose, that they had transcended their racism.
But America’s racism is America’s thorn. It is deep-seated and it has metastasized. It permeates everything that happens here. It affects not only African Americans, but people of color, period.
When I was little, I used to ask, “What’s wrong with white people? Why are they so mean?”
As I get older, I have wondered, and have heard people say, “Why did God create white people, or at least why did and does God allow them to think as they do? C’mon God!!”
The new immigration law in Arizona, the law that now makes it no longer OK to teach ethnic studies in Arizona public schools, and now, the vote in Texas to rewrite American history, lifting up “American” ideals like free enterprise, and taking away important truths about the Civil War, for starters, is the truth to my statement that America will never be post racial.
Karen Armstrong, prolific religious writer, says that fundamentalism erupts when people feel threatened, when they fear that what they have always known will be taken away.
I have come to the conclusion that there is religious fundamentalism, but there is racial fundamentalism as well, in America for sure, and probably throughout the world.
When Tea Party members say they want their country back, what they are saying is that they want the “good ol’ days” when white people had almost absolute power, when there was no way paved for people of color to get onto the playing field, and when it was all justified by God. What they want “back” is a time when people of color knew their “place” and stayed there.
That reality seems to be unraveling before their very eyes, and they are frightened and angry.
Now, to add insult to injury, there is a man named Rand Paul in Kentucky, who, among other things, thinks private businesses ought to be allowed to not serve black people if they want. Big business, according to him and probably scores of others, has done much to erode the rights of white people.
And to add a hit to that injury, the folks in Texas want to teach kids that slavery was not the cause of the Civil War. One woman said the cause of the war was a dispute over states’ rights. Right. It was … because states wanted the right to have slaves, and too many people, including people in the federal government, were saying that slavery were wrong.
The special on CNN on what people are teach their children about race was revealing. Little black kids and little white kids still think that black people are bad. They are getting that message from we adults who have not been healed. And when sick people teach children, they become sick children who become sick adults.
There was an interesting episode on “Law and Order.” An avowed racist shot a black man to death who he thought had taken “his” cab. The white man felt no remorse; he felt that black people, and Muslims, and whomever .. were bad people and were out to hurt white people. His attorney created an interesting defense: to be racist was to be mentally ill.
It was a cop out defense. It made me sick. The racist was convicted but the episode, coupled with all I see and hear, made me come up with my belief that America will never be post racial.
We have never dealt with our illness, our thorn, and we are now becoming even more infected.
Racism is America’s thorn.
That is a candid observation.