Race is like weather — we only talk about it when it’s extreme but it’s always there. Toure
There is no such thing as a 'Post Racial' America, so says Toure In a letter penned in the NYT Opinion Pages, Toure took it to the American people directly. Like many of us he is just fed up with the nonsensical theme that America is now 'Post Racial'.
We are not a nation devoid of racial discrimination nor are we a nation where race does not matter. Race and racism are still critical factors in determining what happens and who gets ahead in America. The election of Barack Obama ushered in this silly term and now that he’s begun running for re-election, I’m here to brusquely escort it out of the party called American English because it’s a con man of a term, selling you a concept that doesn’t exist
. I have been screaming this from the rafters since Barack Obama got into office but since I do not have a national platform, a lowly opinion like mine will most likly never show up in a prominent place in the NYT. His points are well-taken and I do hope that many will get to read them.
“Post-racial” is a mythical idea that should be as painful to the mind’s ear as fingernails on the chalkboard are to the outer ear. It’s an intellectual Loch Ness monster. It is indeed a monster because it’s dangerous. What people seem to mean by “post-racial” is: nowadays race no longer matters and anyone can accomplish anything because racism is behind us. All of that is false. But widespread use of the term lends credence to the idea that all of that is true—I mean, why would we have a term for an idea that’s not real? In that way the lie becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and thus feeds the notion that it’s O.K. to be somnambulant about race or even aggressively dismissive of it. If, as “post-racial” suggests, race no longer matters, then we no longer need to think about race or take the discussion of it seriously. In this way the concept becomes a shield against uncomfortable but necessary discussions allowing people to say or think, “Why are they complaining about racism? We’re post-racial.”
The 'Post Racial' meme, just like all of the other memes that have suddenly erupted out of nothingness since the Republican/Tea Party took over, are insidious lies. Most of what we hear on the radio and see on our television is a mostly manufactured to scare or intimidate us. We have to dig deep to find the truth and the truth is not readily reported upon. Why? because if the powers that be can keep us all inoculated with crap then they can go ahead and take over and make themselves Kings and Queens. Thank goodness for the Occupy movements that are finally focusing the minds of the people. Last night's vote in Ohio and Mississippi showed that there is a shift going on. The masses are waking up. Yet, there is still much work to be done with regards to racial relations in this country.
If, as “post-racial” suggests, race no longer matters, then we no longer need to think about race or take the discussion of it seriously. In this way the concept becomes a shield against uncomfortable but necessary discussions allowing people to say or think, “Why are they complaining about racism? We’re post-racial.” This barrier to conversation is dangerous in a nation where race and racism still matter very much. A place where black unemployment is far higher than white unemployment, where profiling and institutional racism and white privilege and myriad other forms of racism still shape so much of life in America. If we don’t need to discuss race then it’s allowed to fester and grow unchecked like an untreated malignant tumor. Race is an issue every American must care about. It’s not a black issue, it’s everyone’s issue. It’s relevant and important for whites because we all live here together and because the issue hurts everyone. If your neighbor’s house is on fire, or gets foreclosed, you have a problem. If your neighbor’s soul is on fire you have a major problem.
He is absolutely right in this above quote. I find it so frustrating that while walking out in the street in my neighborhood my daughter and me can be called "n****r bitches" but when I tell this story people are in disbelief. Why? Because the majority of them are white and they will never experience what we experience. No matter how nice or 'accommodating' they are. There is not a single day that a member of my family does not feel a 'racial attack' in some form or fashion, institutional or otherwise, but we have to move on and live on because how can that be? We are in a 'Post Racial' America. So Kudos to Toure for putting pen to paper and putting what needs to be said down. For as he says quite eloquently:
Only through being aware of racial disparities and talking about race can we have any chance of forward movement. Because nowadays there are many white people who are not racist, who are perhaps anti-racist, but who still benefit from white privilege without even meaning to. So you may not be racist but still receiving the spoils of racism. That still doesn’t make you racist. But it makes you part of the system and reveals why it’s also your responsibility to interrogate and examine how our society works and be aware of the biases that keep white supremacy functioning. The term “post-racial” is the enemy of communication, understanding and progress. (“Post-racial” is not at all synonymous with “post-black,” a term from the art world that explains modern black identity and the complexity of being black today and is the guiding force of my book “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?”)
Nuff said and Kudos to all out there who, from all races and cultures, are fighting to make our country a better place. Thank you.
Read his full post
No Such Place as 'Post Racial' America