Post Racial America

Here is just a thought.  I might be wrong, but my heart is int he hopefully right place, and if not, please feel free to start a discussion.  I won’t get into Obama and his racial politics and what that has done to this country.  We are all afraid of being racist.  Somewhere in the late eighties and early nineties, almost every sitcom on every network had the racism episode, that generally featured an all white cast (unless you were the Cosby’s of course) discovering a racist person and spending the rest of the episode to call out the practice and lament about a better future.  It was impossible to grow up and not be afraid of being racist, regardless of that one old uncle that would scream obscenities and talk about the good old days.  I have read a lot of online blogs calling out these old people dying as a positive thing that is the wave of the future.  The sooner these all racist assholes die off, the better the new world will be.

First allow me to point out that almost everyone alive has racial tendencies, no matter which race you are.  I tend to find, that at least in this country, the black/white thing seems to be the end all be all of racial thought, or the white and everyone else kind of idea, but aren’t these ideas in and of themselves racially motivated.  Most of us don’t even realize that most Asians don’t see themselves as simply such.  I mean, I wouldn’t suggest confusing Korean and Japanese people, as they kind of tend to hate one another.  Also, rather than the general black person, if you talk to an actual African person (read someone that was born in raised in the continent of Africa) they tend to take great offense to be lumped in with every other person from a place so large.  Africa is huge.  Maps that are greatly used in the West are greatly distorted, often affecting people’s world view.  Africa is much bigger than most people think that is, and there are a lot of different kinds of races and racial features that are seen within African society that aren’t even greatly picked up on here.  Because we don’t pick up on it, much like White has become this great cultural divide for lumping people and ideals together.

In this lumping of peoples, only 7% of all marriages in the United States are between couples from different ethnic backgrounds.  Consider that for a second, that after all the movies and racial things that we hear about in the media, after Guess Who is Coming to Dinner, and the 1960’s, only 7% of all marriages are between different ethnic backgrounds.  Now I imagine that this does not include people of Irish decent marrying people of English decent (my first marriage) or people of Mexican decent marrying someone of Brazilian decent (don’t you dare call them Hispanic) or someone from North African decent marrying someone from South African decent, unless that South African person happens to be White, then feel free.  Or unless that person from North Africa happens to be from Egypt, then lets just lump them in as Arab, though somehow this doesn’t seem to be the case with Sudanese people (also considering themselves to be Arabic in culture).

Race is all in the mind.  And what is worse is that largely in this country it is being driven by White people that have for the most part been in control both culturally, economically, and as majority share holders to the population.  And for the last fifty years or so, have been getting a strong dose of white guilt.  The trend that I find most alarming is that most people that try to make like they are completely devoid of racial motivation have dated outside their race, but still, statistics prove that overwhelmingly, they eventually settle down with someone from their own race and culture.  This would suggest that as much as we like to pretend like culture and race don’t matter, that somewhere deep within us, we really think that it does.  I am currently married to a foreigner that could not have come from a more different ethnic and moral background than my own.  There was a time that I thought that none of that mattered, but living with them, and having a daughter with her (due in May) there have been a lot of arguments that I don’t think would have happened if I had married someone that came from a similar background.  Now, while this hasn’t been enough to split us up by any means, I will say that it is something that we both talk about and is hard on both of us.

I have also noticed a trend in the people that end up marrying outside their race, that they have some sort of fetishizing or fixation on the race that they marry, and very rarely see them as just normal people.  The point is that people continue to see race and fixate upon it in both cases and the idea of racial blindness really doesn’t exist.  That being said, we are in a society that would have us ignore this and move on, though we have all probably been discriminated against at one point of our lives or another, which makes it really hard to compare with someone else having it worse or better than us.

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