In this pretend post-racial era, there are those who argue that Black History Month should be a thing of the past. Since we're all getting along so well in our newfound colorblind society, why muddle things by celebrating Black History with its taint of slavery, lynching, segregation and all that over negative stuff when we've finally leveled the playing field?
Just yesterday, Lionel Canterbury posted a comment on a post entitled "Is Obama really the magic one?" that ran on this blog a year ago. His comment is deeply rooted in the same twisted thinking that rationalizes racial bigotry and discrimination. Click on Lionel's name if you want to read his comment or reply to what he wrote. To make it easy for you, I've cut and pasted it below. You can also reply or comment about it at the end of this post.
Here's Lionel's comment:
cannot be confined to prejudice and injustices by whites towards
blacks. in the larger scope of things, it is not necessarily unnatural
for any human whatever their race, to harbor some feelings of racism
simply by being. Indeed, it seems plain to me that blacks are in
general much more inclined to make decisions, form opinions, or take
actions towards others based on their race than most other races do.
perhaps they feel more threatened by race, perhaps they feel they are
there will be a racism problem as long as blacks keep talking about. imo many blacks would lose a deep sense of purpose if they could no longer claim they were being discriminated against based on their race.
In case you're having trouble figuring out the point of the comment above, allow me to shorthand it for you: He's blaming the victim.
His logic, if you want to call it that, goes something like this: It's natural for human beings to be racist and naturally black people are more racist than others. And, without pointing out racism when it happens, black people wouldn't have anything else better to do with their lives.
Well, at the risk of seeming both racist and purposeless in Lionel's mind, I'd like to rant about the photoshopped picture at the top of this post. IMO, a photo with the POTUS shining the shoes of a half-term Alaskan governor is racist--should he happen to be black and she happen to be white.
This racist little photo ran on Sarah Palin's Facebook page. It speaks volumes about those who are so enraptured with what she doesn't have to say and what she does represent.
I don't know if Lionel is a wingnut, a racist, an idiot or all three, but I do know that contrary to what he thinks, it's very much the duty of black folks to call out this stupid, ugly behavior--during Black History Month in particular and during the other 11 months in general.
Come to think of it, we're not so much in a post-racial era are we're in a neo-racial era. The N-word is now considered too gauche in polite society so code words have replaced it. Instead of publicly calling him the nigger president, Barack Obama is monumentally magical in the wingnut definition of him, code-worded as the socialist-fascist-racist-tyrannical-punk-shoeshine boy-illegal immigrant POTUS.
All this tortured thinking from the far right immediately brings to mind what Malcolm X had to say nearly half a century ago. Check him out:
This column was also published on the African American Opinion.com website.