I hate the term “post-racial”.
Why? Because it’s used by white people, typically men, to refer to a mythical condition in which they won’t have to talk about (or think about) race or racism any longer. They want to project the adjective “post-racial” onto a younger generation, saying we “don’t care about race as much.” (This was told to me by a middle-aged white guy pastor.) We elected Obama, so we must not care about race, right?
Wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. We don’t want to ignore race any more than we want to ignore religion. We want to respect, appreciate, and understand race and differences. No longer should there be “normal” (aka the white male) and “abnormal” (gay, black, Jewish, female, etc.). There are simply differences we can appreciate, negotiate, and discuss.
Watch this Daily Show clip for the part with Wyatt Cenac at the end. He’s rightfully upset about Chris Matthews’s comment about “I forgot the president was black for a moment.” Does knowing the President’s race inhibit Matthews’s ability to relate to Obama? Does Jon Stewart’s being Jewish inhibit me from communicating with him? Post-racial is as stupid and harmful an idea as Post-Jewish would be. Matthews’s use of the term, and Cenac’s witty skit, shows the racism of the term. Is it more black to sing that stupid song “Pants on the Ground” from American Idol? But it’s more normative (aka white and “post-racial”) to give an eloquent speech?
To all white guys out there who want to stop talking about race, I’m not going to let you. You’re welcome.
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