Post-Racist U.S.? Sadly, Not

One of our readers here commented that he was too young to remember the Black Power fist symbol as he was growing up in a post-racist generation. But as a CBS News story points out, racism isn’t dead in the U.S., it’s just been in remission.

CBS/AP) Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting “Assassinate Obama.” Black figures hung from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.

Incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are dampening the postelection glow of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America.

There have been “hundreds” of incidents since the election, many more than usual, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes. (snip)

Four North Carolina State University students admitted writing anti-Obama comments in a tunnel designated for free speech expression, including one that said: “Let’s shoot that (N-word) in the head.” Obama has received more threats than any other president-elect, authorities say.

Before the election while looking at the Google searches that brought readers to my own blog, I ran across some alarming search text from Wasilla Alaska that said ‘why Barack Obama should be shot in the head’. Reallizing that search text had brought someone to my blog left me literally shaking.

You can read more incidents in the CBS article. I gently suggest to our young reader that if he sees America as post-racist, perhaps he’s been wearing blinders. I wonder if in my own lifetime I will see our country reach a place where we really are blind to race, gender, sexual preference, age, or other categories that still garner prejudice today.

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  1. #1 by Ken on November 16, 2008 - 1:37 pm

    Racist: Anyone who disagrees with Barrack Obama.

  2. #2 by Cliff on November 16, 2008 - 5:49 pm

    Ken,

    We are looking for a Utahn to act as a liaison between our new Inter Mountain Progressive caucus and the National Governors association.

    The job pays $85k/year with health, 401k and more.

    The position requires strong writing and diplomatic skills and the ability to inspire, communicate, and negotiate with diverse constituencies in the Inter Mountain West and represent their concerns to the NGA.

    Some travel is required.

    You’d have to learn to be positive and optimistic.

    If you are interested, I will put in a good world for you.

  3. #3 by Ken on November 16, 2008 - 6:07 pm

    If you can get me in I may even (pretend) to be a liberal. Of course I would be interested in something like that.

  4. #4 by C av on November 16, 2008 - 8:20 pm

    Cliff, I wont even have to pretend! And travel is what I like.

    Wait’ll I tell the little lady.

  5. #5 by Shane Smith on November 16, 2008 - 9:21 pm

    Thanks Becky, I was considering writing something about that very comment myself, and what you written is much more direct than what I would have. Well said.

  6. #6 by Becky on November 16, 2008 - 9:45 pm

    Thanks, Shane. I happened to run across another story. Burning churches. It’s heartbreakingly reminiscent of the 60′s.

    By the way, Shane, this topic bears lots more coverage and I hope you’ll still consider posting on it.

  7. #7 by enso105 on November 17, 2008 - 10:40 am

    Every now and then, when I’m thinking of racism, a story of an Egyptian who went on a strike after he was attacked by drunken Poles, comes to my mind. There’s definitely so much racism in Poland these days, but hopefully people we’ll become more tolerant as time passes.

  8. #8 by Kevin Owens on November 17, 2008 - 12:07 pm

    I stand corrected. It looks like racism is alive and well in many parts of the country. That’s terrible.

  9. #9 by Glenden Brown on November 17, 2008 - 12:13 pm

    Becky – I’m glad you wrote this. The reality of racism is something many Americans haven’t had to face, especially in places like lily white Utah. I think many Americans consider themselves unbiased and are able to do so because they never have to confront the object of their biases. Once face to face, they struggle – they don’t want to be racists but they stumble since it really is something theoretical rather than real in their lives.

    I think I need a week with the Inclusion Center.

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