Obama got elected and on November 5th, 2008 all the major news organizations were flapping their jaw-holes screaming, whispering, talking flatly, uttering, pontificating, blathering, and asking the most retarded question in the history of questions; is America now a post-racial country? NO! No freaking way! Not even close. There are portions of us that are. Mainly liberals (not Democrats, but LIBERALS) and the younger generation. The younger generation being, lets see, I’d say those born between 1975 and now. But the majority of Americans and America in general are racist.
Racism is probably the hardest prejudice we will have to overcome. Even harder to overcome than the prejudice toward homosexuals. Because in America we have something called institutionalized racism. Institutional racism as the name implies is racism that is embedded into public bodies like schools or employment, banks and loan agreements, etc. It is usually very subtle in its instantiation thus no one really sees it and thinks that the “blacks” or “jews” or “gays” or “insert minority here” are just whining. Often times when you hear someone saying that a certain group is just lazy and needs to work hard and stop complaining they are talking about a situation where institutional racism is involved but they don’t see it. For example, when the Social Security Act was passed it excluded domestic and agricultural workers. Big deal right? Thats a small segment of the population right? Well who were/are those workers? They are asian, african american, and mexican primarily. Standardized testing is another example. Minorities don’t score lower because they aren’t intelligent. The tests are biased toward the white middle class. But the average person doesn’t know or doesn’t believe this and this leads to thinking that certain minorities are stupid and/or lazy. This type of racism affects health care and AIDS intervention and services in particular. Minority neighborhoods tend to get less that adequate health care and education leading to more cases of AIDS and other health problems among these groups. Back to education. School funding is tied to property taxes in their surrounding areas. Low income minority areas tend to get older edition worn out books while white middle class neighborhoods get new books. I’ve seen this myself. My high school had the latest edition books every school year. Education funding should be the same for everyone. It is absolutely unjust, not unfair but UNJUST, to give those with more money better education. Education should empower those in poverty to rise out of it but our system in the US promotes the wealthy getting everything they want and more while those who don’t have a lot of money get substandard quality in almost all aspects of public care.
I was with a family member of mine today and as we drove past a black man in the WalMart parking lot (WalMart is a piece of shit corporation too - more on that in another post) he said to me “Why do I not like negroes?” That question bothered me. Because I’ve seen this person interact with black people and befriend some of them in the business he runs. Yet he commonly calls them niggers or negroes and says some pretty derogatory things about them. Why? was the question and I wanted to answer it. I don’t really know. Maybe it was his upbringing. Maybe it was the media. Maybe it is the ignorance to institutional racism or maybe its all of the above. Whatever it is it isn’t right.
There is no reason to hate or even dislike someone based on race gender religious beliefs or sexual orientation. I am even guilty of prejudice at times. But I know why I am. I am aware of how the culture promotes racism so that isn’t it. Its my upbringing. I need to remember my own words in this post and whenever this family member says something racist I need to remember my beliefs and not let myself fall into the trap of blaming the victim.
The United States wanted to put racism behind it on November 5th, but me and others like me won’t let the US declare a false victory. Racism will be stamped out. It will unfortunately take more than a black president to put it behind us but thats okay. I’d rather see it go the right way than to have the media just push it under the rug like they tried the day after the election.