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Toward a Post-Racial Society — or Maybe Not

Maybe it's time to acknowledge that we're all too stupid to talk on the subject of race.

by
Frank J. Fleming

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August 5, 2013 - 12:00 am
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So a lot of people — even those who didn’t vote for him — had hoped that with the election of Barack Obama as president, we’d be moving to a post-racial society.

How’d that work out?

If anything, it seems that the election (and re-election) of the first black president has actually aggravated racial issues in America. If you want my opinion on why — and you probably don’t — it’s because we specifically elected a black president instead of a president who happens to be black — i.e., his election was more because of racism than a triumph over it.

Hopefully this is just a growing pain on the way to that fabled post-racial society of the future. Being an integrated society is new territory for us; everything is a learning experience. And we’re learning. Maybe.

But the Trayvon Martin shooting and George Zimmerman trial have illustrated the big divide we still have to overcome. A lot of people saw it as a purely defensive shooting — and maybe George Zimmerman made some bad choices, but there was nothing racial about it. On the other hand, some people are absolutely certain the incident was white supremacy in action — but even if they’re right, the incident still shows progress, as it’s now a more inclusive white supremacy that also incorporates Hispanics.

Another thing that demonstrates the divide is voter ID. For the majority of people, it’s common sense to at least try to prevent voter fraud. For others, it’s the most racist thing ever and the return of Jim Crow — which I can’t even comprehend. I guess if you have to present a photo ID, then people can see what race you are in the photo and then discriminate against you… or something.

Anyway, many people say we need a national conversation on race. I guess we’re all just going to sit down and talk this out and learn from each other’s experiences and grow as a more tolerant people together.

Yeah, that’s not working out. Mainly, a lot of people are talking past each other. Some say we are way too dismissive of racism in this day and age, that it’s still prevalent and we act like it’s not there, especially those who aren’t victims of it. Others think the biggest problem is that the accusation of racism is thrown around irresponsibly, and it’s now become this bogus charge against which no defense is allowed. So the conversation has become a bunch of people yelling at each other to shut up and listen.

Maybe, then, it’s time to acknowledge that we’re all too stupid to talk on the subject of race. Sure, we each have our own unique perspectives to add, but mainly we also have a lot of idiocy to stir into the pot as well. I’ve probably already had some in this column. And I think a big part of it is that no one really understands the racism of today. It’s not the blatantly evil racism of the Jim Crow south; it’s the racism of a country that elected a black president thinking that would solve everything. It’s a weirder, sillier racism that none of us quite understand well enough to discuss intelligently. So I’m going to propose a new tactic: Instead of a national conversation on race, let’s try a national shutting up on race.

It’s a relatively simple idea. We all just never mention race and do all we can to not think about it. Theoretically, that’s how society should be in the future. No one will mention race, because what’s there to say about it? “Of course you don’t make judgments based on the melanin in one’s epidermis. That’s just asinine.” So we’ll be acting like the people we one day hope to be.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
(1) There will never be statistical economic equality across the races as long as large numbers of black people continue to behave badly.

(2) We will never be able to _completely_ eliminate all racism as long as large numbers of black people behave badly.

(3) As long as there is both statistical economic inequality exists between blacks vs. whites and _any_ amount of racism, black people will attribute the inequality to racism and recognize no need to change their behavior.

None of these things change by virtue of having a black President.

Therefore, for the foreseeable future, large numbers of black people will continue behaving badly, racism will not be completely eliminated, and black people will continue to fume about racism.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's a wistful longing towards the theory that simply not talking about race and racial differences will somehow make all the problems go away. How I wish it were so! But it's childlike wishful thinking that in reality could not possibly work. One of the first things you learn as an adult is that ignoring problems never results in them just going away. Rather, they often get worse.

Hard truths must be faced head-on and dealt with. Unfortunately, I can't see the problems ever being addressed whilst Obama remains as POTUS. Not until he's gone will the black community even begin to look internally rather than externally for reasons behind their perpetual unhappiness.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Fleming, are you actually suggesting that we judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin?

That'll never fly. No money in it.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (34)
All Comments   (34)
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"We all really want to not be racist"

I don't think you could be more wrong if you were trying to win a bet.

Racism will persist in American politics (which means it will persist throughout American society) as long as it is a useful tactic. Those using it as a tactic will continue to be racists. And that's not a small number of people.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
What I see for America with more and more non-white people in charge is The Republic of Congo, Haiti, Sudan. All you have to do is look at the cities where there is a very large non-white population. Cities where non-white citizens' behavior is suppressed seem to be functioning, but once released, it turns into Somalia. It's really not about color, it's about culture.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe, then, it’s time to acknowledge that we’re all too stupid to talk on the subject of race.

Don't be abusing the collective "we". You can speak for yourself.

If you want to examine the lack of discussion of race, you might start with the groupthink of fear of same directly arising from the disease of political correctness. Which directs Orwellian peer pressure against the speaker of any candid statement which has a minute chance of 'offending' someone.

Thus placing she-who-claims-the-most-offense in the position of absolute censor of all 'offending' statements, particularly those concerning race.

The solution would be a return to honoring the First Amendment, and the purging of PC from the privileged position it currently owns in the society of urban intellectuals.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Black people are afraid to talk honestly about race - doing so requires then to face painful facts about themselves, including the behavior of their young men, the miserable parenting, the abject failure of every black-run institution, school, city and country and a popular culture that glorifies violence, hatred and stupidity. When their leaders are willing to acknowledge some responsibility for their own problems then we can start talking. Until then, I'm going to ignore them, avoid them and generally go about living my life without a single twinge of white guilt. It's time for the "black community" to grow up.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
read up on Ophra claiming to Raced on in Swiss land- she claimed they would not wait on her at purse shop because they told her she could not afford the high dollar purse- she also claimed the same in France when she wanted to go shopping in high dollar store at 5 minutes to closing and they kicker her out- she was dissed
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
we all hate facts- that is why it is easier to blame whitie fyi- obummer is half white or if he was Trayvon he would be a victim- Jessie wrote he was walking thru the black hood and heard foot steps behind him, he turned and was relieved to see a white man behind him
US voted for Obama all about race & his support of hard working unions, fighting injustice one bankrupt city at a time
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Presumably, Al Sharpton will starve to death."

That is a feature, not a bug.

We are all frickin' purple!
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Presumably, Al Sharpton will starve to death."

Possibly, but I wouldn't stand close to him when he starts getting hungry. I'm pretty sure some of his "entourage" will go missing before Al Sharpton starves.

36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most of White America is done with Black America and conversations about race. Any thoughtful and meaningful contribution to that conversation (like Mr. Fleming's piece here) will be labled as racist. In many profesional settings such as corporate, education or government or whatever getting labled a racist can be a career killer, so White Americans want nothing to do with that conversation. This doesn't mean White America has surrendered but instead they have moved on and by and large don't care or think about Black America.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Those who make their living by doing so will never shut up, and there are plenty of PC idiots who will echo their demands and complaints. Together, these two forces have worked for four decades to entrench the race grievance industry in our schools, bureaucracy, and government. There is huge money at stake for them in maintaining the current state of racial anger.

But I agree: whites will shut up to avoid problems. Deep in our hearts, however, we know we are being wronged. Almost everybody I know who isn't an incurable bleeding heart liberal realizes that at this point blacks must heal themselves. Lamentably, there are few if any signs that they are willing or able to do so.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Spot on about this

I was really young and blissfully unaware of race and didn’t know to think differently of anyone, but then in school I was taught, “Remember: Black people have faced lots of discrimination. So when you see black people, think discrimination.”

One place equality won't be accepted is in the public schools.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
African American scholars, pundits, and thinkers want us to think they want really want an open, frank, no holds barred conversation about race with us white folks, but many of them want a one sided conversation.
Recently the Ace of Spades website featured a story of one such African American blogger/pundit person who wrote an article outlining her "rules for having an open conversation about race."
Unfortunately, her rules were mostly aimed at what white people can't and shouldn't say.
Nothing was mentioned about what black people can't say. Apparently in this woman's mind, the white people are screwing up the conversation. So what she was basically saying is Black people aren't responsible for any of the problems that need to be discussed, and white people should just sit and listen as black people tell us why whites are racist.
Not a very open conversation if you ask me.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am tired of hearing about race. His administration has built no understanding of race but seem to be acting on all the perceived slights of past decades. Holder exemplifies this. I had no feeling about race until I lived in the Nortthern Virginia suburbs and taught many black students. Now I do.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Fleming: You're right - the electorate that voted for the Big 0 voted for him as an affirmative-action gesture. Unfortunately, why no one seems to have realized is that he's had affirmative-action goodies all his life. In the end, he has turned out to be monumentally incompetent; not surprisingly, his appointments have been monumentally inept. Let us pray that nothing bad happens in the next three and one-half years.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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