Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ahistoric Election

*I composed this several weeks ago but hesitated about publishing it. The recent thoughts of a friend of mine got me to reconsider.


Everytime I see that ridiculously sanctimonious commercial telling people to buy these specially-made coins commemorating the “historic” election of Barack Obama, I get sick to my stomach. I do so because I can’t figure out anything historic about his election other than the fact that Barack Obama is the first person to ever be elected 44th president of the United States and that he has a darker shade of skin than any previous president, and nothing to do with anything he has accomplished before in his life.

Readers of this blog (if any exist) have probably noticed that I continually refer to our newest president as the “Mulatto Messiah.” For anyone too dense to figure it out, I do that because columnists, commentators, and talking heads of both parties make it a point to ram it down our collective throats that our first black president has been elected. Since millions were inundated with the notion that a black man might be elected in “the most racist country in history” I feel it is necessary to remind people, who are so concerned with a particular man’s race, that he is not actually black, but a mulatto, a mix, a hybrid. The president-elect has a long-forgotten white mother. But that does not fit into the narrative of electing a black man, in a country that has supposedly moved past race.

If you don’t believe that this society is still consumed with race, I ask you to please reflect on how many times in the past two years that you encountered news stories on TV, radio, print, or internet, that called attention to Mr. Obama’s race.

That this country is still preoccupied with race proves that the millions of people who voted for Mr. Obama because of his race made a grave mistake in believing that this man’s election would heal this country’s “racial wounds.”

I make this conclusion based largely on what one caller to the Rush Limbaugh program declared on Thursday, December 18, 2008. A black man called from Detroit who informed the King of Talk Radio that while the caller was pleased with the outcome of the election, the host was unhappy because the color of the victor’s skin was brown. Never mind that Mr. Limbaugh consistently denounced Mr. Obama’s evocations of socialism, but take this is an example of minorities still thinking (or being brainwashed) into believing that any opposition to “one of their own” is equal to racism. It’s an entitlement that strangely resembles the entitlement racist whites exercised over black Americans for years. The only difference is that the roles are gradually being reversed.

We should have figured this out during the primaries. Bill Clinton, “the first black president,” was branded a racist because he said it was a fairy tale that Mr. Obama’s Iraq position has been consistent. While I agreed with Bubba’s assessment at the time, the former president has been more than proven right as Mr. Obama has certainly waffled on his Iraq position ever since he clinched the nomination. What this means is that race and the race racket won’t let any vestige or hint of racism die. It’s too lucrative and powerful of a political issue. There is no better way to shut up a critic of the Mulatto Messiah than by calling them a racist.

Do not be fooled into thinking that Barack Obama’s election alone will do anything to solve racial problems in this country. Dissent will be hard to come by during an Obama administration. It will be muzzled when the president’s sycophants begin circulating that the opposition the president is facing has "a tint of racism to it." Just wait and see how much grief President Obama will receive when a potential political opponent is implied as a racist.

All of this should serve as lesson in human nature and the imperfectability of man. If people look down on others because of their different race or support someone only because of race, one election will not change them.

Voting in favor of someone because of race is just as bad as voting against them because of race. Race is still the guiding factor of why someone voted for this particular person, it's just from the other side of the argument.

And does this attitude not cheapen Mr. Obama's electoral victory? Millions voted for him because he is "black" without regard to any of his political convictions. How is it any different compared to someone who voted against him because he is black, without regard to any of his political convictions?

Racism runs deeper in a person than who they cast their ballot for. In his book The Revolution, Ron Paul calls racism a “disease of the heart.” It takes prayer and the power of ideas to cure someone of racism. It takes time and it takes persuasion. And if Mr. Obama's election and adminstration would heal our racial wounds, how would he do that if some people still have a hatred of others in their hearts?

Perhaps it's just the old racist within me, but since we're still talking about the color of this man's skin, it appears we might not have really gotten over race, it's just not in the way we thought.

2 comments:

Ryan said...

I am often vilified for thinking as I do (such as in my note). It is good to know others understand what I mean.

Carl Wicklander said...

Definitely. It's a fantasy to think that we've "moved past race;" The media will never let that happen. These inaugural/coronation proceedings are evidence of the fact that the media have zero interest in getting us to stop talking about race. We will hear about race for the duration of his presidency.