Friday, July 27, 2012

Conservatism Unplugged: There Goes The Neighborhood

This will be my final installment under the “Conservatism Unplugged” banner. I will be frank and up-front with you on this matter of race and politics as they're current today here in America. I have nothing personal against Obama, BUT, Doesn’t it seem like the Obama administration has divided this country by both race and income?

 The expectations of most pundits, the election of President Obama has aggravated the racial divide in America between blacks and all other racial groups because Obama has hardened black political and social segregation. Far from bringing black and white together, as he promised to do in his famous 2004 Democratic National Convention speech and that was implicit throughout his 2008 campaign, his policies since assuming the Presidency have led to racial polarization, Here, see for yourself.

Jeremiah Wright
Obama's political palaver about bringing people together when he was on the national stage was belied by his own statements and actions when the lights were not shining on him.  After all, this is the man who was an active member of a church led by the race-baiting Jeremiah Wright, and who held out Wright's statement that "white people's greed runs a world in need" as transformative to himself.

But it has been Obama's statist policies, his mania for social and economic engineering that has stoked the racial divisions. His policies, be it the affirmative action policies that are laced throughout the laws passed under him (including ObamaCare), the policies of departments such as the Department of Justice, rules and regulations that have proliferated under his Presidency, his massive shifting of savings among groups have hardened the divides.  There has been a great deal of favoritism exhibited by this administration, some visible but a lot invisible,  or that certainly fly under the radar screen and remain unvisited by mainstream media. Nothing surprising about this dynamic. People vote on pocketbook issues all the time. But I will undoubtedly be decried as being a racist for simply stating that fact and putting it in its proper context.

It was hailed as the dawn of a “post-racial America,” ushered in by the election of the first black president in a country still scarred by the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow and the battle for civil rights.

Just a few short months after President Obama’s historic 2008 election, when many Americans believed the country had finally taken the upper hand over race, some are asking where did the dream of a post-racial America go?  The historical significance of Obama’s White House win, creating the illusion of a colorblind society where racial issues were no longer a major concern.
“The whole country says, ‘Wow, this is a euphoric moment. We’ve transcended our baggage,’ and post-racialism was born with Obama’s election.

Why is race still such an explosive issue in the U.S.? The race question as an onion with many layers to it, is still the biggest hurdle that America has yet to properly deal with the consequences of its history of racism, slavery, segregation and open oppression.

Obama is not being judged through the prism of race by whites, he’s being judged on his lack of economic knowledge. Despite slipping poll numbers, surveys find that a relatively low percentages of voters believe Obama is favoring a black agenda. According to the recent Pew Research Center poll, 13 percent of whites and Hispanics and 1 percent of blacks said they believe he's not paying enough attention to the concerns of the black community.
We were all there in 2008 when the black community voted in record numbers for this President, and now after talking with many in my community, it’s happening again, because our community is still stoned on that koolaid that was served up in 2008. Will the effects ever wear off? 

Does anyone remember the recent unveiling of the Bush portrait? Bush got a  joke off about the possible future of America. I believe what he was saying was "I was the last President of a free America".

Studies have revealed that black men are no longer excited about Obama, and it is mainly due to the fact that they feel he has not done enough for the African-American community. In addition, some feel President Obama is not black enough, and leans towards pleasing white America.

Solving our racial problems in this country will require concrete steps, significant investment and above all, commitment. We're going to have a lot of work to do to overcome the long legacy of Jim Crow and slavery. It can't be purchased on the cheap. I am fundamentally optimistic about our capacity to do that. And I do assert that there's a core decency in the American people and in white Americans that makes me hopeful about our ability to deal with these issues. But these issues aren't just solved by electing a black president or a white president, all of our mind set must change.

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.
“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.
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. 

I suspect “post-racial” was born benignly from the hope that Obama’s electoral success meant that the racial problems that have long plagued America were over. Kumbaya. Surely Obama’s victory revealed something had changed in America, but it was not a signal that we’d reached the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s mountaintop world where race no longer matters and equality has been achieved.

During the Obama administration “post-racial” and “race card” and “reverse racism” have run amok like gremlins in the language, obfuscating race and making discussions about it harder. America still has so much work to do regarding race and racism and “post-racial” is only making that work harder to do. That’s why “post-racial” and its cohorts must be stopped posthaste.

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