America Mourns the Death of Joe the Racist:
Will Racism Rest in Peace?:
For half of America, the outcome of the last election was seen as a time to celebrate the birth of a new era of change. For the other half, it was a funeral to mourn the death of Racism and the idea that America is "a white man's country." While both of these scenarios made good headlines, neither represents reality; historically nor in real time.
This may come as a shock for the overly optimistic but Racism is not dead. Matter of fact, it has more lives than Jason from the Friday the 13th movie series. Just when you think you've finally laid him to eternal rest , you hear that annoying horror movie music and teenage campers start going missing at the lake.
The reason for the resilience of Racism is mostly because most people don't have a working definition of the term. While the dictionary may define it as "the notion that one's own ethnic stock is superior," the functional definition digs deeper into the social and economic roots of the "notion" of racial superiority. Racism is the ability for one's race to impose its will on another race. And to quote writer Neely Fuller, "the only form of functional Racism that exists among the people of the known universe is White Supremacy." Therefore, as a group, black people cannot be racist nor do we have any real power to dictate the terms of this country's race relations. In reality, the only black person in this country that has that power is Barack Obama, himself.
Historically speaking, this is not the first time that Racism has flat lined. From the time of the Emancipation Proclamation to Reconstruction to the election of President John F. Kennedy, many have prematurely declared Racism dead. Even in recent times, in the sometimes shallow world of Hip Hop , some have seen the popularity of white rappers such as Vanilla Ice and Eminem as evidence that Racism was on its last legs.
Racism is a horrible burden to bear for black folks and it is understandable why some are quick to report that "Joe the Racist" has died of pneumonia when, in actuality, he only had a cold.
For some, the reasons are economically motivated . It has always been a feeling among some African Americans that in order to move up in the world, you have to "act white" and deny your own culture. So, the upwardly mobile middle class no longer have to worry about being called "Oreos, sell-outs or Uncle Toms" at this year's Thanksgiving dinner by less affluent family members. If Racism is dead then everyone has equal opportunity.
There is also a sexual component to the need to break down racial barriers. For many years white women have been the forbidden fruit. There are black men who champion a color blind society for no other reason than to have a better chance of dating Sarah Palin.
But despite all the wishful thinking, there are reasons why Racism has more lives than Garfield.
First, as activists like the late Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichel) were quick to point out, Capitalism, needs Racism in order to survive. There has to be a permanent underclass and this underclass has been made up, primarily, of people of color.
Also, fighting Racism is in and of itself a business. If Racism ends, many civil rights leaders will be in line at Wall Mart trying to hook up a job for the Christmas season.
Lastly, for a large segment of the population, the only way that you will remove the sceptre of white supremacy is from their cold dead hands. If one truly needs to to know that Racism is alive and kicking one needs only to flip his radio dial to the local conservative talk radio station.
As long as you have right wing conduits such as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Mike Savage holding daily seances on radio and TV shows, it won't be long before the white sheet wearing specter of Racism rises from the dead saying,
"Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated."
Paul Scott's , "the Hip Hop TRUTH Minista" blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 firstname.lastname@example.org