The misnomer is that Post-Racial means Post-Racist.
People want to say that the first election of Barack Obama showed that America finally got “it,” that we have conquered the beast and slayed the dragon called Racism…
Which is completely untrue.
The construct of Race is nothing more than modern-day feudalism. To put in current terminology, it’s corporate structure and being “white” is like being in Middle Management.
All Middle Management is concerned with is being Middle Management with the hope that as long as you stick with the Corporation, you will be rewarded by having a “seat at the table.” Middle Management will defend policies that are detrimental to the people who work for the corporation as a whole just to keep their illusionary sense of status. But, at the end of the day, the Corporation doesn’t give a damn about Middle Management, as they are replaceable as well.
In my opinion, that’s what it’s like to be white in America right now.
What’s even worse (in their estimation), the Lord of the Manor (i.e. the president) doesn’t even look like them, which means they can’t even take that as a solace. The security blanket of Race has been taken from them.
Real talk? Most Americans thought his ascendancy to the presidency was a fluke, that he’d be a one-term president, and white folks could pat themselves on the back because they voted a Black Man into office because, in four short years, everything would be back to “normal”.
Obama’s second go-round showed that it wasn’t a fluke and yes, there is a Black Man who is the spokesperson for the supposedly “most powerful nation in the world.” Now, that has been a true mindfuck for the entire country. Not just white folks, but us as well.
From the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case (peep the aftermath on that choice) to the endless filibusters in Congress (which threatened the very financial standing of the U.S. in the world market) to the influx of the “slave porn” films and so on, the Old Guard, trying to assert really their dwindling authority and “dominance” in the world has done everything from in order to put people back in their “place…”
Not African Americans, but in truth, those uppity white folks.
BTW, I’m not talking out of my ass with this assessment. Check out Michael Kimmel’s article at The Salon here.
Really, all of this is to placate not African Americans, but white folks into thinking that “everything is ok,” “white is still on top,” “you’re still one of us” while they are the ones getting the shaft, worse than us, because their “Massa” looks like them. They bought into the okey-doke hook, line and sinker.
African Americans are still reeling from the fact that “The Man” looks like us, but he hasn’t given us our 40 acres and a mule and we’re all butt hurt from our own fantasies not realized by others. We’ve forgotten to do for self and support those who are doing for self and doing it well in our communities. So, the response to that reality manifests itself with statements like:
“Why can’t Idris Elba play James Bond?”
“Which Black superhero has the same ‘status’ as, say Superman?”
“How many white people went to see ‘Best Man’s Holiday’ instead of ’12 Years A Slave?”
You know, in the 90s up until, oh, I don’t know, 2008, no one asked these questions because it didn’t matter. Everyone saw New Jack City, Blade, etc. We didn’t worry if non-Black folks liked movies like Eve’s Bayou, Love Jones or the first Best Man because African Americans supported them first, then everybody else came on board.
It’s like some folks want to be mainstream so bad when they fail to realize that to be mainstream is to be boring.
If you look at most of the new so-called “sitcoms” on BET and TV One, they are cheap knock-offs of “mainstream” shows… And, they are not good because of this desire to create a “Black mainstream.”
It’s the same thing in comics. When people talk about supporting Mighty Avengers instead of books like Miranda Mercury, Watson and Holmes, Midnight Tiger, The Horsemen, etc., they’re talking about supporting this mainstream, as if being a part of the mainstream gives them some sort of value… Which, it doesn’t.
Some African Americans have been so obsessed with being accepted by white (read: mainstream) audiences as validation in 2013; we’ve totally forgotten that African America has always set the trends that others follow… Globally. We forgot that we won the “Culture War” by the new millennium (thanks Hip Hop… Now get your shit together) by sticking to our guns, being unique with our stories and voices and supporting one another.
We’ve gotta get back to that because we have been the spark of revolutionary culture, thought and change in this country… And, our country needs us.