Our VoiceNews & Politics

Post-Racial America Still Just a Dream

James E. Johnson Jr. • Jul 29, 2010

As this is a milestone blog for me, I was hoping to write about any number of things.  I thought maybe since NFL training camps are underway another blog about the chances of my beloved Raiders was in order. Or I could blog about the recently leaked documents regarding the Afghan War and draw the parallel to the Pentagon Papers and how they brought a quicker end to the Vietnam War.  Or maybe even the joys of summers in Colorado when my daughter comes to visit us.

However, race kept coming up and I feel the need to talk about the issue again.  As we know race is the one issue in America that is so much a part of our society that we refuse to have a national dialogue about it. As with air, race and racism surround us completely and permeate our everyday lives.

First came Mel Gibson’s rant, when once again Mr. Potty mouth decided maligning others is his best course of action.  He was not satisfied with just using the N word, and suggested that they run in packs.  That did not come as much of a surprise to most of us because anyone who slanders one group of people is never far from slandering another.  Many of us weren’t even surprised when the apologist for most things racially offensive (think Ted Danson in blackface); Whoopi Goldberg defended Gibson as a bonehead but not a racist.

Then there was the NAACP passing a resolution calling for the Tea Party to police its ranks and rid itself of the racist elements that have been attracted to its movement.  For months people have said the same thing about some of the leaders that have been fueling the Tea Party movement.  As a White woman Sarah Palin did her best to deflect the issue by accusing the NAACP of slandering patriotic people.  But it would have been better if it had come from a person of color.  Of course the Tea Party need not worry, because Sophia Nelson did her best imitation of Whoopi and rode to their rescue.

Finally, there is the incident involving Shirley Sherrod, the former USDA official who tried to talk about race racism and why we need to get beyond race to help each other.  Andrew Breitbart, who has a history of putting false videos on his website, started a firestorm by placing a heavily edited video of Ms. Sherrod’s comments on his website, making it appear as if she was making racist remarks.  Ms. Sherrod was forced to resign her position before anyone took the time to get the facts straight.

During the campaigns of 2008 there were those who argued that we had arrived in a post-racial era in the United States.  They argued because a Black man had the chance of being on the ballot for one of the two major political parties and they believed we as a nation were beyond looking at the color of a person’s skin.  As for the post-racial era – I am tired of asking ‘are we there yet?’

Please wake me when we do get there; I don’t want to blink and miss it.

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