Monday, January 11, 2010

Racing Through the Politics of Race

Monday, January 11, 2010

Harry Reid's recent comments (actually, "recent" in this instance means 2008) concerning how the viability of President Obama's 2008 campaign was tied to him being "light-skinned" and without "Negro dialect" just shows yet again how much we are tied to issues of race in most - if not all - aspects of our society.

Even when we are not Black...Negro...or African-American.

Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich's latest claim that he was "Blacker than Obama" brings the sentiment of race back to pay in yet another way. Not so long ago, the complaint about then-candidate Barack Obama was exactly that he was not Black enough for America. Now, you have well-known White men making that case, in effect saying that he was a viable candidate because, well, there were other White men that could be Blacker than he was.

And we heard that we were post-racial because of Obama’s victory?

Please. I will say this, though. The evidence is clear: race matters.

In the 21st century, racing through the politics of race has everything to do with perception of acceptance, not the reality of breaking down barriers that divide us. Sadly, the latest comments from two nationally-renowned Democrats only highlight this fact: that both sides of the aisle still have a propensity to celebrity diversity as a means to delineate culture for the benefit of gaining a political victory versus teaching future generations the best ways to be tolerant, accepting, and comfortable with societal changes.

The Obama Presidency – once thought to be the symbol that we have overcome our racial demons – may now indicate to us just how much we haven’t move past these obstacles at all.

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