Ever since President Barack Obama entered into the historically White White House, the phrase being uttered from the mouths of citizens across the country was “Post-Racial America!” It was as if now having an individual who has been erroneously solely classified as “Black,” somehow negated and erased, not only the obscenely racially oppressive past, but the current trends in all forms of racist activities. This ever-increasingly popular term could be heard being voiced from well-known individuals, such as Tracy Morgan, and the “theory” of Post-Racial America was even expounded upon by world-renowned Actor/Rapper, Will Smith, where he vehemently declared, following the election of President Obama, “I love that all of our excuses have been removed. African-American’s excuses have been removed….” Even my friends and associates were using this word as THE catch-phrase, verbally adorning it like a trendy new article of clothing! While there is no doubt at all that the entrance of President Obama was an undeniably huge and long-overdue milestone for those members of African descent within this country, as well as other groups of color throughout the world, it is still highly upsetting to observe SO many people, [most notably African-Americans,] using this phrase in such a knee-jerk reaction, as that could only mean one thing: their minds are STILL in a state of unending enslavement even in the midst of what they call a “Post-Racial” society. The mere fact that we only reference ONE person as being THE quintessential figure for African Americans is proof enough of the highly racist society we reside in, particularly given the unquestionable fact that European-American/Whites have innumerable figures to which they can make thousands of references to. These same figures are constantly shoved down the throats of African American, Latino, Asian, Native American, etc. children in classrooms across this self-identified “inclusive” country. Well just two weeks ago, there was a heinous crime committed indicating just how “Post-Racial” this country really is.
The life of James Craig Anderson, a 49-year old father of African descent, was ended abruptly and maliciously on June 26th, 2011 in Jackson, Mississippi at the hands of two 18-year old White teenagers who intentionally hit and ran over Mr. Anderson with a Ford pickup truck. After his gravely unfortunate death, both teenagers, John Aaron Rice and Deryl Dedmon, were apprehended due to the arrogant bragging of the crime from Dedmon to one of his friends. It was reported that Dedmon and Rice were rejoicing after this tragic crime and even called a friend stating, “I just ran that ni**a over!” Prosecutor Robert Shuler Smith confirmed that these monstrous teens killed Mr. Anderson specifically because of his race! This irrefutably intentional race-based crime is contrary to the utopian mantra of a “Post-Racial America” where crimes, such as this no longer take place, but is a mere relic of the past that we should all just “get over!” Compounded by what is already an absolute atrocity, it is quite interesting that this horrible crime has NOT been broadcast on every major news and media television station and website, but this is simply yet another indicator of the fact that YES PEOPLE, RACISM STILL EXISTS, IT AFFECTS US ALL AND WE ARE CERTAINLY NOT “POST” OR BEYOND ANY OF ITS POISONOUS INFLUENCES!
Another recent event highlighting the reality that we do NOT reside in a “Post-Racial” society, is the recent incident involving Conservative (i.e. racist) Republican Contender for next year’s U.S. candidacy, Michele Bachman. In “securing” her seat for the Presidential election, Bachman signed a “Marriage Vow” created from Christian advocacy group, The Family Leader, illustrating her “traditional” family values. In this document, the advocacy group made several statements suggesting that there actually were several benefits of slavery for African-Americans! The marriage vow, [which also scorns homosexuality and promotes marriage ONLY being between a man and a woman,] states that, “Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.” REALLY?! Not only has this oppressive religious extremist group highlighted their disgust and opposition of an African-American President, but they have also somehow, in their warped psyches made the enslavement period a “logical” movement and apparently a solution to the pandemic of single-headed households. So deep in their own inherent racist education as the foundation of their identity, this extremely imprudent group and candidate for the Presidency has rationalized slavery as somehow advantageous to African-Americans, in spite of the painfully obvious aspect that a) the enslaved were property and not at all viewed as actual human beings; every minute of every single day was met with dehumanizing, immoral, and an inhumane evil that no one should ever be subjected to and b) due to the objectification of the enslaved, “families,” weren’t at all a concept or even institutionalized during this era and it is because of this racist ideology that these “pieces of property” were bartered and sold like cattle, which tore apart these “idealistic” families that The Family Leader and Rep. Bachman so freely advocate for. Although upsetting, this Western perspective should not be a surprise at all, but a simple reminder of the undeniable fact that these individuals are the product of “Whiteness” and can only look through the lens of that “Whiteness,” which is a socially-constructed or composed ideological framework giving an inherent sense of entitlement and unearned privileges, along with social, economic, and educational rights to those of direct European descent simply because of their skin color. What is more disheartening is the undeniable fact that this oppressive mindset has unfortunately permeated the culture, minds, and hearts of those descendants of the enslavement era!
If more evidence is needed to counter the notion of a “Post-Racial” society, let’s take the most recent incident with racism that occurred this week in Wildwood, NJ. Priding itself as a “family-friendly” resort along the Jersey Shore, owners of Nana’s Apartments came face-to-face with a racist prank on Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 where someone posted a sign outside of the establishment stating, “Parking for Whites Only!” Uyvonne Robinson and her husband have owned the residential property for over 11 years and they were completely shocked and upset at this horrible event saying, “I thought maybe someone thought this was a prank,” but for the Robinson’s, it is no laughing matter, especially given the fact that this is their “livelihood” as they call it. She and her husband are horrified at the obscene racist event that took place and even the Mayor of the city, Mayor Troiano contends that, “the sign should never have been posted, especially in Wildwood.” The comments from the Robinsons and the Mayor regarding this event capture the “shock” and “disbelief” that a crime such as this could take place, not only in this era, but moreover in their small, pastoral community where acts like this “just don’t occur!” While there may be some weight in the fact that incidents of racism and prejudice rarely take place in locales, such as Wildwood, often times the silencing of the past and NOT having a progressive and emancipatory discussion about how the remains of our shameful history are ever-present and influence us today actually gives birth to explosions of racially-motivated hate crimes like this and other events as well!
The concept of a “Post-Racial” society, is nothing more than another socio-political scheme in an attempt to eradicate the racist events of the past and conceal what is constantly taking place during these present times! If we truly lived in a society without racial lines, how is it at all possible that we still have issues with hyper-segregation, where African-Americans and Latinos remain below the poverty level and reside within the most unlivable and depressing areas in any city in this nation? How is it that we STILL have an issue with the achievement-gap where African-American and Latino children consistently fall behind in the areas of academic achievement and long-term educational attainment and have the highest percentages related to school drop-out? Why is it that you can go to ANY business or organization and find that the majority of the persons in upper management are European-Americans? Furthermore, if we lived in a “Post-Racial” civilization, why is it that in EVERY MAJOR CITY ACROSS THE US AND WORLD, we see constant and glaring trends of intense gentrification, where once again, African-Americans, Latinos, and those of low socio-economic status are being forcibly displaced from their historically cultured communities all in the name of capitalism to develop cookie-cutter cities and town? We MUST come to understand that a nation “founded” on pure racism and xenophobia will always possess the philosophies and customs that built the very fabric of oppression which is woven into every corner of this society! These racial trends are not simply isolated events or mere flukes of happenstance; they ARE the result of a historically intentional, deliberate, and organized process to place those of European descent at the top of the social, economic, political, educational, and cultural totem pole, while forcing groups of color, primarily African-Americans, at the very bottom…it is as simple as that! It is imperative for each of us to recognize that racism [which is the combination of prejudice plus power] is in fact real and alive and only through this recognition will we THEN begin to act against this venomous global ill and demand institutional redress for the oppressions of the past to right the deliberate wrongs affecting our present and potential future.
My name is Lady J and I work in education reform and community development in the nation’s capitol. My lifelong passions include deconstructing the numerous “isms” (i.e. sexism, racism, classism, etc.) that plague our society and challenging people to think critically about how they are both affected by and affect others with these “isms.” My mission to ignite the global mobilization of people of African descent through mental emancipatory “re-education” models reflecting core/authentic Pan-Africanist elements will be my legacy….I Am We! Visit My Blog at http://imtyedsooverit.blogspot.com/.