Sunday, January 18, 2009

Post Racial America?

30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan spoke when the show won a Golden Globe and I swear it was the funniest speeches of the night. He said:

Photo of Tracy Morgan giving the acceptance speech at the Golden Globes."Tina Fey and I had an agreement that if Barack Obama won, I would speak for the show from now on. Welcome to post-racial America! I am the face of post-racial America. Deal with it Cate Blanchett! (Who is the whitest white person I have ever seen.) He also took at jab at the Emmys by saying, "A black man can't get no love at the Emmys. I love you Europe!"

It was a very funny moment by any standards. However, Barack Obama did not usher in a post-racial America. Certainly, Black, White, Latino, Asian, saw in him the leadership abilities sorely missed in our recent history. He created a broad coalition, and organized an internet campaign that fundraisers will study for decades. But, we have a long way to go to reach a post racial America.

White Skin Privilege
Having a Black president does not erase the deep ingrained systems of white skin privilege that oppress people of color in this country. Chip Smith’s book, The Cost of Privilege examines just how complex this history is and how wrapped up it is in both our patriarchal and capitalist class structure. It cannot be undone by the election of one man, even if it is to highest office in the country.

Peace and War
Paul Robeson said, “We must join with the tens of millions all over the world who see in peace our most sacred responsibility.” A post-racial society is one that is not at war or stereotypes muslims or any other group. Certainly, it does not hold people in prisons based on their religion or color, without charges.

Poverty
When we as a people allow a segment of our country to fall far below a living wage, we are no where close to being a post racial society. It is part inferior education, lack of equal opportunity, racial stereotyping; along with other factors that keep so many more people of color fall so far below that line.

Healthcare
In the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association published the article, Should healthcare reform be 'color-blind' by, B Ross-Lee, LE Kiss, and MA Weiser. It addressed the barriers to improving minority health. They concluded: that:

equality is instrumental to the improvement of the nation's health demographics; the persistence of economic, social, and political discrimination will continue to create barriers even if financial access is assured through a pluralistic approach to healthcare reform. Ultimately, they predict that any healthcare reform that does not address minority issues is doomed to fail if all three areas driving the national "crisis"--access, cost, and quality--do not encompass minority-specific healthcare strategies.

The idea and ideals of a post-racial America remains a dream. This angry white woman cannot accept the idea that race no longer matters in our lives. We have a long way to go.

2 comments:

cripchick said...

you've read cost of privilege? chip is a friend of mine here in town. :)

Anonymous said...

When you say that whites are privileged, I must say that you're wrong. Many laws force universities and employers to favor minorities, and I must say it's quite unfair. Imagine this scenario: A white boy fresh out of high school applies for a college. He exited his school with grades mostly in the 90's with a B or two. A black student applies soon after. His grades are lower, and he's altogether less able. Who will be enrolled? Likely the black boy, because the university is compelled to do so. While I have no ill will towards minorities, it shocks me how they recieve such preferential treatment. If we can truly reach a "Post-Racial America" then all groups must be treated equally... And that doesn't mean the majority should suffer.